Piernas to challenge McDermott for mayor
By Dwayne Bremer
Feb 15, 2013, 17:20
Election qualifying has been surprisingly light so far in Bay St. Louis and Diamondhead; however, the same cannot be said in Pass Christian.
The qualifying deadline for all three city elections is March 8.
Party primaries will be held on May 7 and the general elections will be held on June 4.
Voters have until April 7 to register or change their registrations at the Hancock County Circuit Clerk's Office.
In Pass Christian, longtime Alderman Joseph Piernas (D) has decided to forgo his Ward Two position and challenge incumbent Mayor Leo "Chipper" McDermott (R), in the general election. Ward races are heating up too, with several candidates coming out to challenge incumbents.
In Ward One, incumbent Robin "Rory" Rafferty is being challenged by Buddy Clarke in the Republican primary.
In Ward Two, the spot currently held by Piernas, Amy Stewart Steiner (R) is the only candidate to qualify so far.
In Ward Three, incumbent Anthony Hall (D) does not have a Democratic challenger yet; however, Eugene Russell has qualified on the Republican ticket.
Ward Four incumbent Huey Bang has yet to qualify; however, challenger Victor Pickich (R) has.
Incumbent Alderman-At-Large Renee Brooks, an Independent, will face off against at least two candidates in the general election. Anita Giani (I) has qualified and Tony Piernas (D) is the lone Democrat so far.
In Diamondhead, Mayor Chuck Ingraham (R), Ward 2 Councilman Dianne Ackerman (R), and Councilman-At-Large Ernie Knobloch (R), are all running unopposed as of press time Friday.
In Ward One, Councilman Henry Holcomb will take on Joseph Lopez Jr. in the Republican primary.
In Ward Four, Councilman Ron Rech is being challenged by Jeffrey Chastain in the Republican primary, and in Ward Three, Michael Schaefer (I) is the only candidate to qualify so far.
In Bay St. Louis, nobody has yet to step up and challenge incumbent Mayor Les Fillingame (D).
Likewise, councilmen Bobby Compretta (D), Ward Four; Doug Seal (I), Ward One; Wendy McDonald (D), Ward Two; and Joey Boudin (D), Ward Five, are all currently unopposed.
Ward Six Councilman Ray Kidd (D) has yet to announce whether he will seek re-election.
The only contested race so far in Bay St. Louis is the councilman-at-large seat. Last month, Councilman-At-Large Billy Taylor announced he will not seek re-election.
So far, three candidates have qualified for the seat.
On the Republican side, Jeff Harding and Gary Knobloch have qualified. Democrat Mike Favre has also qualified.
The winners of the primary elections will move on to the June 4 general election. Independent candidates are automatically on the June 4 ballot, provided they turn in petitions with at least 50 signatures.