The city of Laurel will have to conduct a runoff election to determine who will fill the vacant Ward Six position on the Laurel City Council.
The Laurel City Council in January set Feb. 11 as the date of the special election to fill the unexpired term of Ward Six Councilman Travares Comegys, who was elected and is serving as the Jones County supervisor for Beat Five.
Three Ward Six residents qualified for the special election: Grace Amos, Ira Martin and Benjamin Winpigler.
City Clerk Mary Ann Hess said the complete, but unofficial, results from the last night’s (Feb. 11) election were as follows: Amos received 81 votes, Martin received 44 votes and Winpigler received 38 votes.
“Based on the votes cast, a candidate needed 82 votes to win the election,” Hess said. “Amos only got 81 votes, and she would have needed another vote to win it.”
Since no one received a majority of the votes, the city will have to have a runoff election in three weeks.
The runoff will be between the two top vote getters, Amos and Martin, and is set for March 3.
Officials said state law required the city to have an election within 45 days of a vacancy.
Comegys, in a letter dated December 13, 2019, resigned his position as city councilman of Ward 6 due to his election to the Jones County Board of Supervisors.
Officials said the runoff will be conducted at the same voting precinct, the Laurel Fire Station No. 1 on Ellisville Boulevard next to the Laurel Police Department.
Hess said based on Tuesday’s results, 163 people, out of the more than 1,000 registered voters in Ward Six, came out to participate in the voting process on Tuesday.
“We had a very low turnout,” the city clerk said. “We were a little disappointed. We thought more people would come out and vote.”
However, Hess said, city officials are hoping more people take part in the voting process for the runoff election.
She said the absentee voting for the runoff will be available by the end of the week. She said absentees will become available once results from Tuesday’s election are certified.
Anyone wanting more information about the election or want to request an absentee ballot for the runoff can call the city clerk’s office at 601-428-6404.