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Canton’s Election Troubles and the Surprise Arrest of an Alderman

CANTON, Miss.–The FBI showed up while votes were being counted in Canton Wednesday, and Ward 4 Alderman Louis Smith spent the night in jail. Meanwhile, the city is a hold-out, with no official result from Tuesday’s municipal vote and the charismatic mayor could be looking at a run-off.

Smith was arrested on federal charges, but just what those charges are is not clear yet. There may possibly be word from the feds on that today. Some sources in Canton tell News Mississippi that the charges may not be related to the election and that the arrest may have just come during the vote count as a mere coincidence.

Dr. William Truly
Dr. William Truly

Meanwhile, it looks like Canton’s incumbent mayor, Dr. William Truly, may have a fight ahead of him and was actually behind long-time businessman Arnel Bouldin by a vote of 802 to 744. Candidate Greg Green, who has run for the post before, trailed as a very close third with 743 votes.

The Secretary of State’s office was monitoring the election process and caught some glitches, including a machine getting jammed.

Meanwhile WAPT-TV’s camera’s caught Truly helping two citizens filling out and folding their ballots. He denied any wrongdoing and was cleared by the election commission later on Wednesday. He was also caught on camera saying to one of the poll watchers, “You’re a lying snake.”

Truly is now mayor, but has served before as the city’s alderman-at-large.

The vote count resumes today at 10 as officials hope for an official count, with the distnict possibility of a run-off in two weeks.

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