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Connie Moran takes 62 percent of vote to earn third term as Mayor of Ocean Springs

Mayor Connie Morana nd  Ana Maria Rosato, political communications coach and consultant
By Warren Kulo | The Mississippi Press | June 4, 2013

OCEAN SPRINGS, Mississippi -- Connie Moran earned her third term as the Mayor of Ocean Springs, garnering 62 percent of the vote to easily defeat Jackson County Supervisor John McKay in Tuesday's general election.

Moran said she "certainly did not" expect the large margin of victory. "This is a huge vote of confidence. People of all walks of life, across the spectrum, supported our campaign. When I realized that, I felt good about our chances.

"I've tried to be the mayor to everybody," she continued. "People obviously like what they see in the city and the projects we've done. Now, there's more work to do. I look forward to working with the board of aldermen to bring more great things to the people of Ocean Springs."

Moran won five of the six wards, with Ward 6 the lone exception, with McKay winning that precinct by 26 votes. She is the first Ocean Springs mayor to serve three consecutive terms since the 1800's. J.C. "Champ" Gay served four terms during the 1940's and 1950's, but they were not consecutive.

"The people of Ocean Springs have spoken," McKay said. "You can bet I won't be running for mayor again. I'll go back and be the best supervisor I can be and make a decision about running for that again in two years.

"There were just too many hurdles to overcome," he added. "Too much against me to win at this particular time. I was outspent 3 or 4 to 1. I ran a grassroots campaign.

One of my biggest mistakes was running a clean race. I could have got down in the weeds and gone after Connie on some of her issues -- and everybody knows she has them, but I chose not to do that."

The Ward 2 alderman race -- the only other contested race on Tuesday's ballot in Ocean Springs -- is still to be determined. With 61 affidavit and absentee ballots still to be counted, incumbent Matt McDonnell leads challenger Julia Weaver by only 24 votes, 583-559.

The affidavit and absentee ballots in Ward 2 were still being counted at press time.

There were a total of 4,066 votes cast in the mayor's race, representing 36.7 percent of the 11,100 registered voters in the city.