Jacksonville voters head to polls in final day of run-off electi - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Jacksonville voters head to polls in final day of run-off election


Jacksonville is in its final day of voting for the city's mayoral run-off elections.

Candidates were out in town Tuesday, trying to get voters to the polls in what they say will be a very tight race.

In May's election, the margin between the two was just 37 votes, with neither candidate able to win 50% of the votes.

Current Jacksonville Mayor Kenneth Melvin said he's doing everything he can to get people out to the polls.

"I'm talking to people via face-to-face and via phone calls," Melvin said. "I have a lot of people calling people for me and going and picking people up and taking them to the polls."

He said after eight years of city service, both as a councilman and mayor, his record speaks for itself.

"We have cut our long term debt in half, and our bond rating is wonderful," Melvin said. "It's gone from B+ to A+ and that makes a lot of difference in the interest rates that you pay if you do borrow money."

But opposition candidate and owner of Sadler's restaurant, Rob Gowin, said it's time for change.

"I can't go along with the philosophy that everything is alright," Gowin said. "As a business owner that's been in business for 18 years and as someone who's lived here forever, it was time for someone to step forward."

His plan looks to revitalize the approach Jacksonville takes to economic development, including improving its downtown.

"I think it's very important that we capitalize on things like that," Gowin said. "We've already got it started, let's build on it."

Residents who took to the polls were mixed on who they think had the best approach.

"Jacksonville's my home town," said Mark Janes. "I raised my family here and still live here. I would like to see Jacksonville progress, get some new business here and fix up downtown."

"I think experience is very important and hope it wins out," said resident Judy Bunn.

Polls close at 7 P.M. and election officials expect the results by approximately 7:30 P.M. Tuesday night.

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