Incumbent Billy Hewes defeated three challengers in the Republican primary in his bid to serve a third term as mayor.
Hewes faces Democrat Howard Page, a community organizer and policy analyst, in the June 8 general election.
A former state senator, Hewes received 3,382 votes, or 67.61% of the total. Trailing Hewes in the primary were Jennifer Adams, who last year ran unsuccessfully for Harrison County tax collector and William G. Thompson. Adams received 921 votes, or 26.14%, to 167 votes, or 4.74%, for Thompson.
“It sends a signal that we’re on the right track in the way that we’re trying to provide leadership in Gulfport’s development,” Hewes said.
Hewes said the Mississippi Aquarium is providing family entertainment the city needed.
If re-elected, Hewes said he will continue to work on the blue economy Gulfport is developing, particularly with high-tech jobs related to Gulf of Mexico exploration, relieving traffic congestion in the busy commercial area of Interstate 10 and U.S. 49, and promoting development of multi-use buildings for apartments and commerce.
Returns are unofficial, with absentee and affidavit ballots still to be counted.
CITY COUNCIL RACES
The city had four contested primaries for City Council.
Here are the unofficial results in those races:
Democratic incumbent Kenneth “Truck” Casey won re-election after defeating Lorraine Price, 281 votes, or 75.13%, to 91 votes, or 24.35%, for Price.
Democratic incumbent Ella Holmes-Hines won re-election by defeating Patrick White in the Democratic primary, 371 votes, or 58.88%, to 258 votes, or 40.95% for White.
Incumbent Republican F.B. “Rusty” Walker might be headed for a runoff with challenger Derek Bullock. Walker received 737 votes, or 49.83%, compared to 585 votes, or 39.55% for Bullock. Steve Martin trailed with 153 votes, or 10.34%. The winner will serve as next councilman with no general election challengers.
Republican incumbent Cara Pucheu and challenger Richard Kosloski led a field of four, with the race to be decided in a runoff. The runoff winner will serve as the next council person because all candidates were Republican.
Pucheu received 272 votes, or 44.44% of the total, with 212 votes, or 34.64% for Kosloski. Shawn Petro, who previously ran for Harrison County supervisor, receive 74 votes, or 12.09%, while Nalley, who has previously held the council seat, received 54 votes, or 8.82% of the total.