HATTIESBURG-Miss. – Voters in Hattiesburg will go back to the polls September 24 for a special election for mayor. Governor Phil Bryant signed an order setting the date today.
This after Judge William Coleman order a special election after a mistrial over the mayor’s race. Challenge Dave Ware sued claiming voting irregularities after losing to incumbent Mayor Johnny DuPree by just under 40 votes during the June 4 election.
DuPree said on Facebook today that he would not appeal the judge’s ruling. “My job as mayor has always been rooted in doing what is in the best interest of Hattiesburg. While some believe that appealing the judge’s ruling would be successful, my belief is that it is time for us to move forward as a unified city,” he wrote.
“I ask that you stand with me, walk with me, and make phone calls with me to let everyone know that their voices and their votes count. I also ask that you pray for me, my family, and our city”
Ware reopened his campaign headquarters last week after the judge’s ruling. He and Dupree will face off again with all candidates who were on the June 4 ballot unless they formally withdraw from the race.
Anyone who has not registered to vote and wants to cast a ballot in the special election must register by August 26.
HATTIESBURG, Miss.–The battle over the big seat continues and will keep going into the fall as a special election date was anticipated for late September. The actual date was expected to be announced Tuesday by Gov. Bryant.
Meanwhile, Patricia W. Burchell, district attorney for Forrest and Lamar counties, acknowledged in a news release Monday that her office is investigating various allegations of voter fraud from the general election.
Burchell said in the release that it would be improper for her office to comment any further, but did say that there were numerous inquiries from citizens that have prompted the investigation and that the community should come together to ensure no further attempts at undue influence as the special election goes forward.
Last week the judge hearing the trial between incumbent Mayor Johnny DuPree and challenger Dave Ware ordered a special election because of a hung jury in the case. It went to court after there was not a clear winner in the general election.
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