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Lewis wins 78 percent of vote

ERIC J. SHELTON | THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Cassidy Riley, left, and Tassika Washington congratulate Arthur Lewis after he won 78 percent of votes Saturday night during the Vidalia police chief elections in Vidalia.

NATCHEZ — Arthur Lewis won’t need any help moving out of the office he’s filled for five months — he’s staying there.

Lewis won the race for Vidalia Police chief Saturday night with 78 percent of the vote.

Stuart Boykin garnered nearly 19 percent and Sam King took almost 3 percent of the vote.

Lewis had 962 votes. Boykin had 233 votes and King had 34 votes.

An election night party for Lewis, who has worked as interim chief since November, was thrown on the Vidalia Riverfront where supporters hugged his neck, danced and had cake.

Lewis said being surrounded by family and friends on the occasion is something to savor.

“This is one of the happiest days of my life,” Lewis said. “I have all of my family here, but it’s not sickness or death that brought us together. I thank God for giving me this opportunity, and my family for staying beside me.”

Lewis said he was proud of the way all three candidates handled the race.

“I don’t feel like I was running against anyone up for the position,” Lewis said. “We have all worked together, and I have nothing bad to say. They come from good families, and I like both of them. It’s just not their time right now.”

Lewis said the only promises he’s making are to do his best and keep Vidalia police officers trained, educated and a positive force in the community.

The chief-elect asked the community to be patient with him as he moves from his interim position to police chief.

“Give me time and trust my ability to do this job, and have confidence in me to get it done,” Lewis said. “I feel God led me to lead a fair, honest police department.”

King said he sent Lewis a text message congratulating him.

“The campaigning went well,” King said. “It was a clean race from all candidates. I want to thank everyone who did come out and support us. We’re excited that it’s over, and the city and police department can move forward from here and offer Chief Lewis any assistance we can provide. I’m excited to move on and see what the future holds.”

According to the Louisiana Secretary of State’s office, the unofficial voter turnout in Vidalia was 36.5 percent. Concordia Parish Clerk of Court Clyde R. Webber Jr. said he would not know the official turnout percentage until Monday.

“There was a lot of interest in this race,” Webber said. “Special elections like this are different and hard to predict how many will vote.”

Webber said the day’s election went smoothly.

“We did not have a single trouble call, like machines malfunctioning or voters showing up who aren’t registered.

“There was no mud-slinging at all. I didn’t hear a bad word said about anyone. I wish all of them could be that smooth and clean.”

Boykin could not be reached for comment by press time.

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