Dahl, Mims win Democratic, GOP nods for Legislature

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 14, 2003

NATCHEZ &045; Unofficial returns indicate a probable contest between Democrat Derrick Dahl of Amite County and Republican Sam Mims Jr. of McComb for the state representative seat in District 97 in the November general election.

Late Tuesday, with some rural boxes still unreported, Dahl and Mims were leading their respective opponents, Chad L. Toney and Randall Love.

Both Dahl and Mims did well in Adams County, the votes giving their overall numbers the boost they needed to pull ahead.

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In Pike County, for example, Mims at one time late in the evening led Love by less than 20 votes. In Adams County, Mims led by a two to one margin.

Both Republican candidates had campaigned vigorously in Natchez and both had hoped to carry the District 97 precincts in the county. &uot;I don’t know what he did in Natchez that I didn’t do,&uot; Love said.

&uot;But I want to thank Sam for a good, clean race and thank my supporters for all they did for me.&uot;

Mims said he was excited about the victory and saw it as the result of many months of planning, organizing and working hard.

&uot;We’ll take a few days off and then get started again,&uot; he said. &uot;We have a plan. We’re very organized. And I have a message. It’s a conservative message, and I think Southwest Mississippi needs that representation in the state Legislature.&uot;

Dahl said he felt good about the race and looked forward to continuing the campaign into the fall. &uot;It is not over by far. We’re going to stay the course and stay with the same message. I ran on my experience and qualifications, and that will not change.&uot;

He was surprised that the voter turnout was not larger. &uot;But I want to thank all the voters and thank Chad, who was a good opponent.&uot;

Toney, like Love, was disappointed not to have done better in Adams County. That made a big difference in the outcome, Toney said. &uot;But I made a real good run, and I’m very proud of that.&uot;

He will not give up his dream of the Legislature, however. &uot;I’m still going to run for the Senate when Sen. Bob Dearing retires,&uot; he said. &uot;I’ve gotten my name out there, and I think I know what to do now.&uot;