Charlie Hoots and Greg Paylor were the top two finishers in a Southaven special election Tuesday and will face each other next month to fill the remainder of former Ward 2 Alderman Ronnie Hale’s term on the city’s legislative body.
The next election is March 6.
Unofficial totals on Tuesday were as follows, said Danny Klein, a consultant hired by the city of Southaven to help run the election:
Hoots: 168 votes or 29 percent of the total.
Paylor: 128 votes, 22 percent.
Brenda Daniel Anderson: 97 votes, 17 percent.
Harold Moore: 93 votes, 16 percent.
Norine Sloan: 44 votes, 8 percent.
Johnny C. Johnson: 43 votes, 7 percent.
Don Daniels: 11 votes, 2 percent.
In addition to those votes, there were seven provisional votes. Those were cast in cases where was unclear if the people qualified to vote in this election, Klein said. But even if all seven were certified as legitimate, those votes wouldn’t change the outcome.
The seven candidates were looking to replace Hale, who resigned in December after he was charged in November with procuring prostitution. A month later, during an investigation of those charges, authorities said they discovered child pornography on Hale’s electronics, leading to federal charges against the former alderman.
Hale then resigned from the office to which he had been re-elected in June. He also was relieved of duty from his job with the Memphis Fire Department. Hale is scheduled to appear in DeSoto County Justice Court on Thursday and in federal court in April.
The special election was to select a replacement to serve Southaven’s older section east of U.S. 51.
Hale served one term as alderman on the Southaven board before he lost the seat to Shirley Kite in 2013. Hale was re-elected to the post — defeating Brenda Daniel-Anderson in a 2016 special election — after Kite resigned.
Only 13 percent of eligible voters in Southaven’s Ward 2 turned out for Tuesday’s special election. That’s actually higher than the turnout typical in past special elections, Klein said. “History’s been 10 percent. And I say that’s because we had seven candidates.”