Election Officials Affirm Olive Branch Mayor’s Election
(Olive Branch, MS) Severe weather brought flooded streets to DeSoto County on last month’s run-off election day.
It came as crunch time approached in the tightly contested race between Scott Phillips and Art Shumway.
Shumway lost, and appealed to the Olive Branch Republican Executive Committee.
”We had such heavy rainfall, that roads were closed, roads were flooded, accidents and it just kept people from that critical time from 5 to 7 o’clock to be able to cast their vote,” Shumway said.
Committee members say Shumway presented a very thorough case, but in the end it just wasn’t enough to sway commissioners meeting at Municipal Court.
”In my view, it rained and affected both parties. I don’t know how you could say one was disadvantaged over the other in that circumstance” said DeSoto Republican Executive Committee Chairman Harmon Massey.
Besides, there’s no provision in Mississippi law that allows for a re-vote due to the weather.
After what commissioners said was more than a half-hour of discussion, they voted unanimously to affirm the election and deny Shumway his re-vote.
Candidates who lose these appeals don’t have much in the way of recourse. About their only option is a lawsuit.
And in recent history, that means a long, drawn out process that’s rarely successful.
Shumway says he’s not thrilled with the decision, but he’s going to live with it.
”I tell you what, I lost the runoff election, I lost this, I’m gonna accept that as God saying this door is closed and I’m not gonna try to force it open,” he said.
He says he’ll consider his options to run again in four more years.