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Alderman Rick Addy wins Ward I Democratic primary, will run unopposed in general election

The past three months have seen Rick Addy go from announcing his intentions to not seek another term as the Ward I Alderman, to entering the election on the final day to qualify, to being one vote away from a second term.

The incumbent officially defeated challenger Billy Crews in the Democratic primary. Following Tuesday’s election, the race was too close to call with Addy holding a 23-vote lead over Crews, with 35 affidavits left to be counted.

Those affidavits were counted on Wednesday in the City Hall courtroom, with Addy receiving five additional votes and Crews receiving four. Addy finished with 51.4 percent of the vote (438 votes), while Crews finished with 48.5 percent (414).

Without a Republican or Independent candidate in the Ward I race, Addy will run unopposed in the general election on June 8.

Following confusion over Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch’s opinion in February, which stated a candidate must have lived in their respective Ward for at least two years prior to the election, Harry Alexander and Erin Smith dropped out of the Ward I race.

With two candidates backing out, Addy made the decision on Feb. 5 to run for another term.

The results of the remaining five affidavits that were accepted by the election commission on Wednesday were not enough to alter the outcomes of the other two Democratic primaries in Tuesday’s election.

Brian Hyneman received no affidavit votes, keeping his total at 166 votes (84.2 percent) in the Ward III primary, defeating Alexandria White, who received two affidavit votes for a total of 27 votes (15.7 percent). Hyneman will run against Republican challenger L. McQueen Miscamble in the general election.

Ward V incumbent Preston Taylor received one affidavit vote, increasing his total to 45 votes (63.1 percent) in the primary. He defeated challenger Tracey L. Williams, who received two affidavit votes for a total of 25 votes (34.7 percent). Taylor will challenge Republican candidate Barney Chadwick in the general election.

Of the 35 affidavits that were reviewed by the commission on Wednesday, 17 of them were rejected for various reasons. Those reasons included the voter not properly registered to a poll worker failing to sign off on the affidavit envelope.

Seven of the rejected affidavits were not signed off by a poll worker, making them automatically rejected and the vote not counted.

“We would prefer that it be zero,” said City Clerk Ashley Atkinson of the seven affidavits. “It is, at its simplest, a technicality. However, it is something we will look to remedy in June, for sure. It will be stressed to our poll workers, ‘Here’s how it’s supposed to look. Your signature goes here. Please remember that.’ It’s very simple, unfortunately it does happen.”

Four affidavits are being held for five days due to the voter not having proper identification when voting. If the voter does not go to City Hall to present valid identification, then that affidavit will then be rejected and not counted.

The general elections for Oxford’s 2021 municipal races are now set:

Mayor — Incumbent Robyn Tannehill (I) will challenge Brandon Pettis (I) and Kyle Davis (R).

Ward I — Incumbent Rick Addy (D) is running unopposed.

Ward II — Incumbent Mark Huelse (R) will challenge Afton Thomas (D).

Ward III — Bryan Hyneman (D) will challenge L. McQueen Miscamble (R).

Ward IV — Incumbent Kesha Howell-Atkinson (D) is running unopposed.

Ward V — Incumbent Preston Taylor (D) will challenge Barney Chadwick (R)

Ward VI — Incumbent Jason Bailey (R) will challenge Migueel Centellas (D)

At-Large — Incumbent John Morgan (I) will challenge Linda Porter Bishop (D)