OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - It's expected to be one of the closest races in South Mississippi this Tuesday. And we continue our look at the Ocean Springs mayoral race, with a profile of the incumbent.
Mayor Connie Moran is wrapping up her first term as mayor, a term that began just weeks before Hurricane Katrina hit.
"I appreciate you coming. Thanks for your support," said Mayor Moran, as she waved to a supporter along Washington Avenue downtown.
Mayor Moran says her four years of accomplishments make her the better choice to lead Ocean Springs.
"This is a close race. There's a lot of interest in this race. A lot of money behind my opponent from out of town. So, certainly, he's got a lot more to work with in terms of resources. But I have a lot of supporters as well. A lot of grass roots folks who know me, know what I've done. Look around at the projects this administration has brought about," she said.
The new bridge is the most visible project.
"Well, certainly the biggest accomplishment was the completion of the bridge and the amenities we were able to negotiate with M-DOT. First of all, getting it to come back down to grade as opposed to soaring over town and not touching down until Washington Avenue. And then of course the pathway and the lighting," said the mayor.
A recent ground breaking signals the start of another accomplishment.
"This week we broke ground on our new public safety facility. That's certainly the largest project of its kind that the city has ever undertaken. New fire station, emergency operations center, police, jail and courtroom," said Mayor Moran.
Mayor Moran says her experience helped the city clear the last hurdle on a long awaited recreation complex.
"The new Highway 57 ballfields. Now under construction. The city has owned that property for ten years, but couldn't get over the hurdle of getting wetlands permits. Of course, that's what I used to do for a living, that kind of economic development project, bringing together all the state and agencies and funding sources. And we're now getting it done," she said.
The mayor isn't worried about her opponent's lead in campaign signs.
"Certainly there are a lot of signs out there. Is that something a good thing, or is that a turnoff? I don't know. I'd be embarrassed to have that many signs out there," she said, referring to the vast number of signs erected by her challenger.
"People know who I am," she said, "And that's the way I'm going to play it. I don't have a big, fancy campaign headquarters. It's on my kitchen table at home. And I think people would appreciate that."