Smith, Gautier easily win re-election bids


RIDGELAND — Two incumbent Ridgeland aldermen will keep their seats, according to unofficial returns from the June 8 municipal election in Ridgeland.

Republican Incumbent Alderman-at-large D.I. Smith took the race with 1,681 votes to Democratic Challenger Poteat Medley’s 808 total votes. All totals are unofficial results reported Wednesday morning by City Clerk Paula Tierce.

“I am very pleased and excited for the turnout today, particularly in Wards one and two,” Smith said Tuesday night after initial votes were counted.

In Ward 2, the only other challenged race in Ridgeland, Republican Incumbent Alderman Chuck Gautier beat Democratic Challenger Walter Young Jr. Gautier received 506 votes and Young came away with 236 votes in the race. 

Republican Ridgeland Mayor Gene F. McGee had no opponent and will serve his ninth term as mayor.

All other incumbent aldermen in Ridgeland ran unopposed as Republicans.

This will be Smith's third full term as Alderman-at-large for the city of Ridgeland. In 2012, he won the seat in a special election with a year and a half left in the term to serve.

Voters in each of the city’s wards vote for the alderman at large position.

The largest margin was in Ward 1, where Smith lives. Smith took 707 votes to Medley’s 236. Turnout was also strong in Ward 2 where Smith took 502 votes with Medley receiving 234 votes.

A total of 175 absentee ballots and seven affidavit votes were cast. Smith went on to describe voting as a “critical civic duty.” Smith was at City Hall Tuesday evening until well after 10:45 while poll workers were checking and double-checking numbers and packing up equipment.

A resolution passed by the Ridgeland Mayor and Board of Aldermen in April temporarily allowed the 345 residents eligible to vote in a newly annexed area along W. County Line Road to vote in Ward 1 and for alderman-at-large. The voting lines will be redrawn by the board of alderman in the future.

Ward 1 Alderman Ken Heard ran unopposed but new residents were able to vote in the contested alderman-at-large race.

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