Craft, Merrill re-elected, Doré out, in Vidalia election Saturday

Published 10:58 pm Saturday, July 11, 2020

VIDALIA — Incumbent Vidalia Mayor Buz Craft and incumbent Vidalia Chief of Police Joey Merrill are both apparent winners of another term after Saturday’s primary election.

Craft, a Democrat, garnered 1,072 votes, or 63%, and independent challenger Hyram Copeland garnered 618 votes, or 37%.

Joey Merrill won 911 votes, or 53%, while his challengers Frank Duson Jr. had 492 votes, or 29%; Arthur K. Lewis had 177 votes, or 10%; and Chris Stricklin had 128 votes, or 7%.

Unofficial returns from Saturday’s election show that a little more than 53% of Vidalia’s registered voters cast their ballots.

“I’m excited. I really am,” Craft said at the conclusion of Saturday’s primary. “I have faith in the people of Vidalia to see the work we’ve done and I’m excited for the next four years. We’re going to work really hard to see more great things happen.”

Merrill too said he was looking forward to another four years as Police Chief after Saturday’s election.

“I’m excited about serving the citizens of Vidalia for another four years,” Merrill said. “We did a lot in the first four but we’ve got a lot of work left to do. I would like to thank everybody for their support.”

In the race for the Vidalia Alderman District 1 seat, Rosa Irving Demby garnered 174 votes, or 67%, to Joseph “BoBo” McCoy’s 87 votes, or 33%.

Incumbent Vidalia Alderman Robert Lee Gardner Jr. also won another term in District 2 with 200 votes, or 51%, while his challengers Raymond Murray had 167 votes, or 42%, and Jamie Walsworth had 27 votes, or 7%.

Three Vidalia Aldermen are to be elected in District 3.

Incumbents Jon Betts and Tommy Probst and challenger Brent Smith had the highest number of votes in District 3 followed by incumbent Alderman Sabrina Doré in a close race.

Betts had 564 votes, or 24%; Doré had 481 votes, or 20%; Chris King had 239 votes, or 10%; Probst had 542 votes, or 23%; and Smith had 521 votes, or 22%.

Once the results have been finalized, the three candidates with the highest number of votes will be elected.

After her apparent loss, Doré said she plans to continue to serve the Town of Vidalia in whatever capacity she can.

“I have absolutely loved serving Vidalia for the last four years as alderman and I plan to continue serving Vidalia on the Beautification Committee, the Vidalia Garden Club and as the fireworks organizer for the Fourth of July and New Year’s Eve,” Doré said. “I’m not going anywhere. I plan on working in every committee, club, organization and doing whatever I can to make Vidalia as great as I envision it to be.”

Craft said he was pleased with Saturday’s election results and is looking forward to another term with the new aldermen.

“I think we’ve got a great group of aldermen, and I’m looking forward to working with them,” Craft said.

Here are more results for Saturday elections in Concordia Parish:

  • Mayor for the Town of Clayton: Wilbert Washington had 156 votes, or 13%, and Josephine Washington had 23 votes, or 13%.
  • Mayor for the Town of Ferriday: Gene Allen had 306 votes, or 37%; Glenn Henderson had 191 votes, or 21%; Sherrie Jacobs McMahon had 85 votes, or 9%; and Rydell Turner had 307 votes, or 33%.
  • Ferriday Alderman — District A: Brandi Bacon had 71 votes, or 35%; Wayne Roberts had 65 votes, or 32%; and Shana “Pouncey” Skipper had 66 votes, or 33%.
  • Ferriday Alderman — District B: Elijah “Stepper’s” Banks had 58 votes, or 41%; Margaret J. Glasper had 33 votes, or 23%; Devonte “Tay” Schiele had 21 votes, or 15%; and Ahren Williams had 31 votes, or 22%.
  • Ferriday Alderman — District C: Sharon Goodman had 25 votes, or 13%; Sandra “Gail” Pryor had 98 votes, or 53%; and Emma Skipper had 63 votes, or 34%.
  • Ferriday Alderman — District D: Andre Keys and Patricia Williams tied with 67 votes, or 37%, each and Johnnie Woodruff had 46 votes, or 26%.
  • Ferriday Alderman — District E: Essie Green had 27 votes, or 27%; Gloria Lloyd had 60 votes, or 59%; and David Turner had 14 votes, or 14%.