White wins Democratic nomination for Hattiesburg mayor in runoff

White wins Democratic nomination for Hattiesburg mayor in runoff

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Lakeylah White clinched the Democratic nomination for Hattiesburg mayor during a Tuesday runoff and will face the incumbent in the general election.

White received 778 votes, or 51%, to defeat Vanessa Jones, who received 742 votes. Seven affidavit ballots remain to be counted.

White said she is excited to continue her campaign.

“I want to say come on let’s make history, let’s turn Hattiesburg blue,” White said. “Let’s get the first female mayor in Hattiesburg, and I’m so excited to meet the people out here in Hattiesburg and talk to people every day.”

White will face Mayor Toby Barker, an independent, on June 8.

She spent Tuesday night celebrating the nomination and said the work continues before the general election.

“I Just want everybody to know that I am the best choice, and I can make a wonderful mayor for the city of Hattiesburg and my background in community planning just makes me a great fit in the field,” White said.

Jones and White were the top two vote-getters in a three-person race in the April 6 Democratic primary, with Jones getting 44% of the vote and White receiving 42%.

White is a business owner and served as director of urban development under former Hattiesburg mayor Johnny DuPree.

City Clerk Kermas Eaton said Tuesday’s turnout was low for a runoff.

“Coming into the general, people have time to register 30 days prior to the June 8 election, and I would encourage people to get registered,” Kermas said.

The deadline to register to vote in the general election is May 10.

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