Runoff needed to determine new Horn Lake alderman

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UPDATE: There will be a runoff election in two weeks to decide the new Horn Lake alderman. The runoff will be between former park director Tommy Bledsoe and Planning Commission member Jay Stapleton, who received 109 and 79 votes, respectively.

Horn Lake, Miss. -- A special election Tuesday was brought on by the resignation last month of Ward Two alderman Chris Sheley.

Turnout normally isn’t very heavy in elections like this, which makes you wonder about the expense, but a number of well-known candidates threw their hat into the ring, which helped.

A slow but steady stream of voters turned out Tuesday to cast ballots in the special election. Most said they took the time because their representation on the city board, matters.

”I love Horn Lake. I went to Horn Lake High School and I just wanted to support great leaders in our community,” voter Chase Moore said.

But this election didn’t exactly come cheap.

”It’s gonna cost the city taxpayers about $1,400,” said Horn Lake Mayor Allen Latimer.

It may not sound like a lot to some, but Latimer says it was necessary.

”We hired a consultant to ensure we’re following everything step-by-step to insure we’re in compliance with every angle of the law," he said.

Why not wait until the November election when the vote could go on the state and federal ballot and get a bigger turnout?

”I wish we could have, but state law requires that the election be held within 45 days when an alderman resigns,” Latimer said.

And several known names have stepped forward to run, including former Mayor Nat Baker, former park director Tommy Bledsoe, Wanda Dickey, and Planning Commission member Jay Stapleton.

Moore says the low turnout made his vote all the more important.

”Looks like I had to come because probably my vote will make the difference today, because there aren’t that many people coming out," he said.

Polls will remain open until 7 tonight, and we’ll have the results later tonight on News Channel 3 at 10.