Ocean Springs mayoral candidates face off

By Elise Roberts - bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Tuesday voters will head to the polls for South Mississippi's primary elections. While some cities are running seemingly quiet campaigns, others are heating up. The Ocean Springs mayoral race is one that many people are keeping an eye on. Saturday afternoon, the candidates meet at Edgewater Mall for the final debate ahead of next week's elections.

"I'm not getting involved in anyone else's race whether it's an alderman or another mayor. I'm just not going to do that. I'm running my own race," said supervisor John McKay. "I'm running my own positive race."

"If you look at the contributors list across the board, I have more contributions from the city of Ocean Springs than Connie and John put together," said Republican candidate Scott Walker.

Whether you call it mudslinging or good old fashioned political debate, many South Mississippians won't deny the Ocean Springs mayoral race is heating up.

"People have been very, very interested in this race," said incumbent mayor Connie Moran.

In just a few days, Ocean Springs residents will decide which Republican contender will face off against Moran. Will it be Scott Walker, a long-time Ocean Springs resident whose pledge is to lower taxes?

"My position is that I will work everyday to lower taxes, knowing that seven alderman we've got to work together," said Walker.

Or will it be John McKay, the Jackson County board of supervisor who's running on a platform of experience.

"I have a long track record of 33 years with the city of Ocean Springs," said McKay.

The winner of the Tuesday primary will go on to run against incumbent mayor Connie Moran in the general election, who says she is already prepared for the next four years.

"The top of my priority list is to finish the projects we have begun," Moran said. "The new Highway 57 ball fields, front beach walkway, downtown restoration and the public safety facility."

Like Walker and McKay, Moran also plans to work on easing the tax burden for homeowners and businesses, but it's up to the residents of Ocean Springs to decide who will take the lead.

©2009 WLOX. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.