New Alderman Chosen After Pullling Name Out Of Basket

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(Walls, MS) The newest member of the Walls, MS, board of aldermen won by the luck of a draw. The state has an unusual law when it comes to elections that end in a tie.

It doesn't matter how hard you campaign -- the true test is if you're lucky.

“They're kind of like, wow this is weird,” said Cathy Gordon, Walls City Clerk.

That was the reaction from incumbent Jimmy Doyle and Tammy Patrick. Both ran for the same seat on the board of aldermen. Both got 18 votes, so Gordon called the Secretary of State to find out what to do.

Doyle said, “Very unusual but it’s what the attorney general said we had to do.”

Patrick said, “It's exciting. I was nervous. You got a 50-50 shot.”

Both candidates had an equal shot because state law says if there's a tie, you draw a name. So the city decided to shake things up a little bit and pulled a name out of a basket.

The winner was Patrick. As soon as her name was pulled, her opponent turned to her to congratulate her.

Pretty lucky for a mother of three who signed up to run after seeing someone else pass around a petition.

She said, “I didn't know it was going on. I thought I'm going to do that. I thought I'm going to put my name in the hat.”

That's almost exactly how a thought became reality, but instead of a hat it was a basket.

The question is how fair this is method?

It is unusual how they're choosing the aldermen in Walls, but they're not the only town doing it this way. The town of Magee, MS, had to do the same thing because they had a tie. They chose to flip a coin.

Doyle is likely to still be a strong supporter of the Board of Aldermen. His wife also ran in the election and won.