By WLOX Staff
OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - The contentious and contested mayor's race in Ocean Springs is officially over. Republican challenger Scott Walker conceded to Mayor Connie Moran Friday afternoon at Ocean Springs City Hall.
"Based on the recount last night, I'd like to concede now to Connie Moran," Walker said.
Side by side and seemingly on the same side, newly re-elected Mayor Connie Moran and former opponent Scott Walker congratulated each other on a race well-run.
"Mr. Walker, I commend you for the very hard fought campaign. You made me fight pretty hard too. But we have to celebrate nearly 5,000 people coming out to vote," Moran said.
After voters gave Democrat Moran a victory Tuesday, the Republican Walker asked for a recount, and a closer look at the ballots. But after checking about 15 percent, Walker's team realized Moran's victory would probably stand.
"We've done a partial review of the ballot boxes with the city and with Mayor Moran last night, and have just briefly had an opportunity to look at that material. And I haven't had a chance to sit down and talk with Mr. Walker, but I can safely say that as we stand here today, we haven't found anything other than just normal election irregularities," Walker's attorney Alwyn Luckey said.
"It is customary, when a race of 5,000 wonderful people both on the mayor's side and our side, it's pretty customary to do a recount like we did last night, " Walker said.
Walker and Moran said they are united in focusing on the future of Ocean Springs.
"It's time to move forward," Walker said. "It's time to bring this town together. We've had a very, a very great race, but but it was pretty divided, and I'd like to ask every citizen to stand behind Mayor Connie Moran as our mayor."
"With your help Scott, I see Ocean Springs becoming, with everybody pulling together, united, not only the best city on the Gulf Coast, but the best in the state of Mississippi," Moran said.
Walker said he hasn't decided what his next venture will be, but he said he wants to focus his efforts locally.
"My next step will be based on how I can help Ocean Springs and the Mississippi Gulf Coast the most," Walker said. "I look forward to working with each of the Board of Aldermen, and our Mayor, over the next four years."
Mayor Moran will be sworn in for her second term on Wednesday, June 30th.