Gulfport mayoral candidates look ahead toward Election Day

Updated: Jun. 2, 2021 at 7:28 AM CDT
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GULFPORT, Mississippi (WLOX) - Voters are counting the days before they head to the ballot box in key races across South Mississippi, including the Gulfport mayoral seat.

“Hey, Tuesday is election day,” incumbent Republican Billy Hewes said. “Get out and exercise your right to vote.”

Hewes and Democratic candidate Howard Page both want to lead Mississippi’s second largest city.

“I think this is a local race. People are looking at the local issues,” Page said.

Before voters head to the polls, the two candidates are stressing how they would solve some of the city’s problems.

“We’re just going to give it that last week push and hope for the best,” Page said.

Either by going door-to-door or running ads, Hewes and Page want to play on their party differences, despite sharing many common campaign interests. Both candidates want to focus tax dollars and city efforts toward infrastructure plans, like widening Dedeaux Road.

They also want to allocate more benefits and incentives toward Gulfport police and firefighters in order to make the departments more competitive with nearby cities. Bringing in new businesses and more tourists are also at the top of their lists.

“My main job as mayor is economic development, making this a place where people want to be,” he said.

Hewes cites many projects in the works to help with job creation and traffic flow, including an Airport Road extension and I-10 overpass project through Forest Heights.

However, Page and residents are concerned about possible flooding in an already flood-prone area.

“We have so many other projects that are not in risky areas and so many better opportunities. We really can do better,” he said.

And despite who wins the seat a week from now, both candidates say they won’t keep things status quo if elected.

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