More for Les:Fillingame wins Democratic primary over Mike Weems; Favre, Farve in council runoff
By Geoff Belcher
May 8, 2013, 02:51
Bay St. Louis Mayor Les Fillingame and his daughter Katie Stewart are all smiles Tuesday after his Democratic primary victory over Mike Weems.
The Bay St. Louis Community Hall rang with cheers and applause from Mayor Les Fillingame's supporters Tuesday evening when the final totals declared him the victor in the Democratic primary over challenger Mike Weems.
Unofficial results show Fillingame garnered 1,437 votes – or 58.41 percent – to Weems' 1,018 votes, or 41.38 percent.
The mayor will now move on to face Republican challenger Jeff Harding in the June 4 general election.
"I'm glad this part of it is over," Fillingame said Tuesday night. "I love this city and I love the people who supported us. Now we have to go back to work and get ready for the general election in June."
Weems was not available for comment before press time Tuesday.
Harding congratulated Fillingame after the totals were read Tuesday.
"The Democrats have spoken," Harding said. "I look forward to running a clean race, and I look forward to working with the other candidates.
"I'm looking forward to being a fiscal conservative for the city of Bay St. Louis."
Tuesday marked the third time Fillingame, 58, and Weems, 39, have faced each other in an election. Neither man had held political office before in 2009 when they battled each other to win the Democratic nomination for then-Mayor Eddie Favre's seat.
The two men went up against each other and fellow Democrat Chet Leblanc in the May 2009 primary, then went head-to-head two weeks later in a runoff race which saw Fillingame victorious by a mere 33 votes. Fillingame went on to win the general election against Independent candidate Tad Black and Republican Lisa Cowand.
Fillingame was the only clear winner in Bay St. Louis on Tuesday – the only other contested race in the city's Democratic primary was for the councilman-at-large seat being vacated by incumbent Councilman Bill Taylor, who announced his retirement earlier this year. Three Democratic candidates squared off for the position, including Greg Farve, age 62; Mike Favre, 56; and Bennis Moss, Jr., 37.
Including absentee ballots, Greg Favre earned 684 votes, or 28.79 percent; Mike Favre, 1,025 votes, or 43.14 percent; and Moss, 652 votes, or 27.44 percent.
Farve will now face Favre again in a runoff on May 21. The winner of that contest will then go up against Republican Gary Knoblock, 50, and Independents Clark Breland, 52, and Johanna Spicuzza, 62, on June 4.
Election results were somewhat delayed Tuesday evening due to a glitch in the tabulation computer system. Joleen Fore of the Hancock Circuit Clerk's office brought in a replacement system to get the vote counting under way.
The Democratic Executive Committee will count 21 affidavit ballots this morning, but there are not enough affidavits to make a difference in Tuesday's results.