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Moran takes third term as mayor of Ocean Springs

McKay: I will not run for mayor ever again
Mayor Connie Moran wins 3rd term!
AMANDA McCOY/SUN HERALD  Ocean Springs incumbent Connie Moran reacts after announcing her victory in the mayoral race against Republican challenger John McKay on Tuesday. AMANDA McCOY — SUN HERALD

By Karen Nelson | Sun Herald | June 4, 2013

OCEAN SPRINGS -- Connie Moran won a third term as mayor of Ocean Springs, the first person to pull off that feat since the 1930s.

Speaking before a group of friends and supporters at her home Tuesday night, she said she believes she had a broad base of support and that because people like what they see in Ocean Springs, they voted accordingly.

She said that as she stood along city streets during the day Tuesday, waving her signs, she got encouragement from people in all walks of life.

"We got thumbs up from people of different ages, men and women, working class and professionals," she said. "It didn't speak to political party."

Moran, a Democrat, defeated long-time Jackson County Supervisor and Republican John McKay with 62 percent of the vote, garnering 2,527 votes to his 1,539.

"I can just say that I'm humbled by the large vote of confidence by the citizens of Ocean Springs," Moran said.

 The Ward 2 alderman's race was a close one, with five-time incumbent Matt McDonnell facing former alderwoman at large Julia Weaver. The results in that race was McDonnell 615 to Weaver's 580.

Weaver congratulated McDonnell and said she looks forward to working on community projects in Ocean Springs as a private citizen.

Only one incumbent lost his seat in this year's election -- Ward 6 Alderman James Hagan to Mike Impey in the Republican primary. Other aldermen retained their seats against opponents. Bobby Cox and John Gill were unopposed.

Long-time alderman Chic Cody said Impey will be a welcomed addition to the Board of Aldermen and that the city will have to tackle street and drainage problems in that ward.

He said it will be tough losing Hagan's eight years of experience as aldermen and knowledge on the city's finance committee.

Mayor candidate McKay told the Sun Herald, "I accept the decision of the people of Ocean Springs. I will not run for mayor of Ocean Springs ever again."

He ran four years ago, but lost to Scott Walker in the Republican primary.

He said Tuesday night that he will return to his job as county supervisor and continue to do the best job for Ocean Springs, Vancleave and Gautier that he can in that role.

When asked about what he accomplished, he said he was able to bring to light the city's financial problems.

"All the aldermen know that now," he said. "They'll have to research and find out for themselves what these different grants cost. Based on that, I think my campaign was successful."

Celebrating her win, Moran said, "We're not broke. We have a very tight budget like a lot of cities right now."

She said she's proud of the projects the city has accomplished in recent years, including using the 2 percent restaurant and lounge tax to build the public services and sports complexes.

She said the economy also is looking up, "We're on a roll."

There are commercial buildings and several subdivisions under construction in the city, she said.

She said she looks forward to significant projects like the U.S. 90 widening to the east and those the city has proposed to be funded by the RESTORE Act from the BP oil spill.

She said she also looks forward to working with McKay as county supervisor representing the city. And she thanked her family and friends.

AMANDA McCOY/SUN HERALDOcean Springs Mayor Connie Moran, center, reacts Tuesday along with Karen Chance, left, and Ana Maria Rosato, her online communication consultant, after the results were given for the mayoral race, proclaiming her the winner against Republican challenger John McKay. AMANDA MCCOY — SUN HERALD

AMANDA McCOY/SUN HERALDConnie Moran supporters react after she is announced the winner of the Ocean Springs mayoral race on Tuesday. Moran defeated Republican challenger John McKay. AMANDA MCCOY — SUN HERALD