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Challengers claim 3 alderman seats in New Augusta and Beaumont
From Staff Reports
Voters in the county’s three municipalities went to the ballot box on Tuesday to select their town leadership for the next four years.
Changes are coming in New Augusta and Beaumont as the current mayors in both communities chose not to seek re-election. In Richton, consistency appears to be the theme for the day as incumbent Mayor Michael Bo Ruffin easily won re-election, as did four of the town’s five current aldermen.
In Beaumont, Scotty L. Dailey defeated Leon Small in the race for the town’s top elected post. According to unofficial results, Dailey claimed 141 votes in Tuesday’s General Election, compared to 124 for Small. Dailey will replace Jamie Chambless as mayor once sworn into office in July.
Beaumont residents opted for some new leadership on their board of aldermen as well. Challengers Tammie McLain, Frankie Thomas and Wanda Lawrence led the ticket, while Chris Bolton and Marvin Freeman were the only incumbents to be re-elected to their posts.
McLain and Thomas garnered the most votes with 183 and 181, respectively. Lawrence tallied 157 votes, while Bolton and Marvin Freeman each had 144. Incumbents Hope Freeman and Princess Bolton weren’t far behind at 141 and 139 votes each, but unless there is a call for a recount, the results are expected to stand up as there are no affidavit ballots to deal with and only one potential outstanding absentee ballot that could impact the final tally.
Incumbent Beverly Hesterman rounded out the vote totals, claiming 124 votes in her unsuccessful re-election bid.
New Augusta voters chose current alderman Steve Spicer as their new mayor. Spicer claimed 109 votes on Tuesday, compared to 60 for James Benefield. Spicer will replace Joe Gallaspy for the town’s top elected post.
Incumbents Pamela M. Brewer and W. David Gallaspy held on to their seats on the board of aldermen. They will be joined at the board table by John Corey Proctor, Tommy Bolton and Billy ‘Wayne’ Murphy Jr.
Proctor led the ticket with 115 votes, followed by Bolton, who claimed 101. Brewer and Gallaspy claimed 99 and 80 votes, respectively, while Murphy took the final position with 75 votes to his credit.
Robin Hulsey followed closely, but finished outside the top five with 72 votes.
Voters in Richton re-elected incumbent Mayor Michael Bo Ruffin by a wide margin. Ruffin defeated Democrat Gloria Hinton on Tuesday by a 241-105 margin to secure his fourth term in office.
Richton voters had already selected their board of aldermen during the Republican Primary. Incumbents Anthony Todd Lee, Brenda Phillips, Ed Hearn Jr. and Bryan Keith Evans each won re-election, while challenger James W. Kitchens claimed the fifth seat on the board. All candidates for the posts ran as Republicans and there were no Democrat or independent challengers in the General Election.