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Moran, McKay rally support before Ocean Springs election

By Doug Walker | WLOX-TV 13 | June 3, 2013

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) -Voters head to the polls Tuesday to choose municipal leaders in several coast cities. The most hotly contested race for mayor is in Ocean Springs. Two term incumbent democrat Mayor Connie Moran against republican challenger and County Supervisor John McKay.

McKay got an early start Monday at a breakfast gathering with supporters. Despite the fierce political battle, McKay feels his heart is in the right place.

"We all love this city. Connie loves it, I do and that's been distorted a lot of different ways," McKay said. "But we want what's best for the city of Ocean Springs and that's why I'm running."

More support to drum up, only this time for the mayor. Running for office can be a bit of a grind.

"It certainly takes a lot of energy, a lot of adrenaline. But what's fun about it is getting out to talk to people, see your supporters, hear their issues," Moran said.

During the campaign, both Moran and McKay showed their differences, both politically and philosophically. However, one thing they both agree on is the role that social media played in this race, and not necessarily in a good way.

"You have enemies that might like you personally, and may dislike you personally," Moran said. "You just have to focus on the projects and the programs and move forward."

McKay offered his thoughts. "To me, those are cowardly people that hide behind their fictitious name and attack people. I challenge those very people to get out and do something for the community, like I'm trying to do, like Connie is trying to do," McKay explained.

Despite campaign rhetoric, there's a genuine respect between the two.

"We've worked together and still are, joint projects for the harbor and improvements on Government Street," Moran said. "I hope he stays there as supervisor so we'll continue to do that. But if he is elected mayor, I would certainly pledge to work as a private citizen with him and support him. I have a lot of respect for John McKay."

For McKay, one last promise to make. "I'll run for mayor one more time if I'm elected this time. I hope to serve eight years. But if I lose this time, I am absolutely through."

The polls open in cities across the coast Tuesday at 7am and will close at 7pm. WLOX News will have a special report on the results beginning at 9pm on television and online. We'll also have constant updates on WLOX.com and on our free news app for Apple and Android devices.