STARKVILLE — The race for mayor in the city of Starkville became a bit clearer Tuesday night as Parker Wiseman narrowly won the Democratic runoff against Matt Cox and secured his spot in the general election two weeks from now.
Wiseman received 1,649 votes, or 51.2 percent, while Cox garnered 1,570 votes, or 48.8 percent. Wiseman will face Republican Marnita Henderson June 2 in the general election.
“This is one of the most exciting moments in my life,” Wiseman said from City Hall after final results were announced. “Due to the work of a very selfless group of people and a message that I think is right for Starkville right now, we find ourselves in a position to live and fight on towards the general election, and we will continue carrying that message for a better, brighter Starkville out into the community.”
Cox, in an e-mail, thanked “my wife, Lady, our incredible campaign team and each Starkville voter who supported us.”
“As Ward 5 alderman, I want each person I represent to know how much of a pleasure it has been to serve them,” he said. “I also look forward to Starkville”s bright future and continuing to work to make it one of the best places anywhere.”
Wiseman applauded his opponent”s campaign.
“Hats off to them,” Wiseman said of Cox and his campaign workers. “I think you see by the closeness of this election that you had a spirited campaign and, as I said all along, a spirited campaign about issues is good for this city. Ultimately it puts us in a better place today than we were yesterday.”
The winner of the general election will replace Mayor Dan Camp, who was eliminated in his quest for re-election during the Democratic primary on May 5.
The only other runoff in Starkville featured Democrats Corey Bagwell and Mark Duncan in a bid for the Ward 1 alderman seat. Bagwell won the Democratic bid by receiving 330 votes, compared to 315 for Duncan.
Bagwell will face Independent Helen Eaves and Republican Ben Carver in the general election.
“It”s already been a long journey,” Bagwell said. “I”ve still got a big task ahead of me, but I”m looking forward to the job ahead. I appreciate all the support I”ve had through all this.”
To secure more votes in the general election, Bagwell said he plans to “just go out and talk to everybody again.”
Duncan, whose campaign is now over, was just glad more progressive ideas have been discussed throughout the election. Duncan was a proponent of putting utility lines underground, creating additional bicycle lanes and improving sidewalks throughout the city.
“I”ve enjoyed being a participant, as opposed to just sitting on the sidelines and waiting for votes to come in,” Duncan said. “It”s been a lot of fun. We”ve had a lot of good supporters, a lot of people who have come out and been very supportive. It”s been a great process and I”ve learned a lot about my friends along the way.”