(Southaven, MS) The longest serving mayor of Southaven is out and Republican Darren Musslewhite is in after winning nearly 80 percent of the vote.
He arrived at city hall Tuesday night to a round of applause as the mayor-elect of Southaven.
“I’ve got to get to work. I have a new job I’m anxious to get together with the new board and get the process going,” Musselwhite said.
The insurance agency owner said Mayor Greg Davis called him Tuesday night to concede and assured him that he will help with the transition.
“He was very kind and said he would help,” he said.
Davis publicly conceded on Facebook.
He wrote, “Hopefully our city can heal any wounds and pull together so that we can all be proud to call Southaven home.”
The embattled mayor lost his race after two years of controversy over alleged misspending of government money.
Southaven’s new mayor says it’s time to look forward, and thanked Davis for all the contributions he has made to Southaven in the last 16 years.
“I think the controversy over the last couple of years has been tough on our city. But I think people need to step back and look and the good in people and acknowledge the good in people and acknowledge that Greg Davis did a lot of good things.”
Musselwhite got 78 percent of the vote, Davis got 12 percent, and Democrat Coria Williams got 10 percent.
She also conceded and said she met a lot of great people during the campaign and heard great stories.
“When you do your best all you can do is all you can do,” she said.
Musselwhite will now start the transition process. It will take 30 days.
He said he knows Greg Davis. He said when Davis announced he was going to run, he called him and told him he was happy to hear that he was running.
The loss ends a 16-year run as mayor of the ever-growing north Mississippi town.
For many years, Davis was hailed as a hero and given credit for the enormous growth the city has experienced.
But in 2011, the Mississippi state auditor ordered Davis to repay $170,000 of public money, saying Davis did not have the proper receipts.
News Channel 3 uncovered paperwork showing Davis spent thousands on hotel rooms, dinners and items from an adult sex shop in Canada.
During this time, Davis divorced his wife and told his constituents he was gay.