Ferriday elects Jacobs as new mayor, Gardner takes Vidalia alderman seat

Published 1:00 am Sunday, April 10, 2016

FERRIDAY — Ferriday voters ousted incumbent mayor Gene Allen and Vidalia’s District 2 chose a new alderman in a run-off election Saturday.

Sherrie Jacobs will be Ferriday’s new mayor, and Robert Gardner Jr. won Vidalia’s runoff for District 2 Alderman.

The contested runoff for Ferriday mayor between incumbent Allen and challenger Jacobs Saturday was decided by 98 votes Saturday night — 702 to 604.

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Jacobs said she was proud to have been chosen by her constituents.

“Tonight, the people of Ferriday stood up and took their town back,” Jacobs said Saturday evening.

In Ferriday, 295 early votes were cast early over three precincts leading up to Saturday’s runoff. Jacobs led early voters at 54 percent, compared to Allen’s 46 percent. When polls closed Saturday, 60 percent of qualified voters in Ferriday had cast a ballot.

In the March 5 election, Jacobs also received the majority of votes at 47 percent compared to Allen’s 35 percent in a four-person race, defeating Justin Conner and Ruth Gray.

Meanwhile, Vidalia’s runoff election was even closer.

Gardner, in Vidalia’s runoff for District 2 alderman, defeated Raymond Murray by six votes — 198 compared to Murray’s 192.

Vidalians in the district’s two precincts cast 222 early ballots, with Gardner, a Democrat, leading Murray, a Republican, 52 percent to 48 percent before polls opened Saturday.

More than 54 percent of voters in District 2 are registered Democrats, compared to about 26 percent registered Republicans. Approximately 64 percent of the district’s qualified voters cast a ballot in the runoff.

Gardner and Murray were both challengers to incumbent Vernon Stevens, who finished third in the race on March 5.

Murray narrowly led Gardner in the March 5 election — 39 to 36 percent.