Gautier residents weigh in on mayoral race

By Patrice Clark - bio | email

GAUTIER, MS (WLOX) - Campaign signs are popping up on just about every corner in Gautier as the clock ticks down until the primary election. Indian Point Restaurant is also filled with signs and people who are eager to get a new mayor.

"We want somebody we can trust," Gautier resident Gregg Hutto said.

"I would like people who have original ideas," Wendell Lee said.

Wendell Lee and Gregg Hutto admit they're not satisfied with quality of life in Gautier. They hope a new leader will promote the city better and lure more businesses to town.

"For instance, this is the largest RV park in the two states, and the top 38 in North America. They don't know we're here," Lee said.

"We definitely need more restaurants here in Gautier and some family entertainment centers," Hutto said.

Gautier Thrift Store Owner Carolyn Hankton said the next mayor should connect city leaders with citizens' needs, instead of causing division. She believes Gautier needs a peacemaker.

"I have heard from many, many residents in the town that they are looking for the council to come together and mayor to come together as one, representing the people in a city and not necessarily their own agendas," Hankton said.

Electing a person with a clear vision for the future is also important to this opinionated group.  They all agree the political games must go.

"I pray for a wise mayor, that he would have the wisdom to discern the difference between politics and friendship," Hankton said.

"The times have changed and we have to grow," Hutto said.

Councilman at-large Jeff Wilkinson and former police officer Tommy Fortenberry are running as republicans. Edward Harding is running as an independent. South Mississippi's municipal primaries are May 5th. The general elections are June 2nd.

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