Brown wins Democratic runoff for mayor

Published 12:07 am Wednesday, May 16, 2012

LAUREN WOOD | THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Larry L. “Butch” Brown talks about his family during his thank you speech after winning the democratic nomination for mayor Tuesday night at the Isle of Capri hotel. Brown won the nomination with 55.6% of the vote, and his opponent Phillip West pulled in 44.4% of the vote.

NATCHEZ — Larry L. “Butch” Brown admits he had a foretelling good feeling going into Tuesday, and he intends to ride that positive vibe and strong personality right past June 5.

Brown won the Democratic primary Tuesday, defeating Phillip West by 541 votes in the runoff.

Brown had 56 percent of the vote, or 2,696 votes. West had 44 percent of the vote, or 2,155 votes.

Natchez Democrat reports

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A total of 4,854 votes — 45.7 percent of the voter roll — were cast.

For more photos from Tuesday’s Democratic Primary run-off click here

“We worked hard, and I feel really good,” Brown said Tuesday night. “I have to give credit to Phillip also, he worked hard. We worked hard too, and I’m glad it paid off.”

Brown now faces Independent Bill Furlow and Republican Bob Buie in the June 5 general election.

“We’re going to stay positive and move forward and let the people know what we’re about and show them strong leadership and a good vision,” Brown said.

Brown also said he looked forward to working with West in the future, who he said was a dynamic community leader.

West said although he will not be the next mayor of Natchez, he said he would continue to serve whatever leadership role the community needs him to serve.

“I have always served the public, and I will continue to do that in whatever way I can be an asset,” West said.

West supporters who packed into the Brick House Tuesday may have been disappointed, but they were not silent as they listened to West express his gratitude for their support.

“I want you to be proud of yourselves,” West said. “I am proud of you, and God is smiling on you.”

West said he and his supporters may have lost a political battle, but he said they have not lost the war.

“We have not been defeated; we have simply lost a political battle,” West said as amens were shouted from the crowd. “Although we may have lost today, we made progress for this community.”

West also thanked the young people of the community for their late surge of support in the race and said he believed they were the key to strong voter turnout.

West congratulated Brown on his victory and challenged Brown to make the leadership and community efforts in the city inclusive to all the people.

“We will not sit idly by if things are not done fairly,” West said. “We will not sit quietly by if there is not an inclusive agenda for this city,” West said.

Brown and West defeated incumbent Mayor Jake Middleton in the May 1 primary.