Palmer is next mayor
By Rupert Howell
Former Sardis Alderman Lula Palmer defeated incumbent Mayor Billy Russell by 27 votes in Tuesday’s Democratic Primary runoff. It was the only runoff election in Panola County’s municipalities.
The former Alderman received 285 or 52 percent of the votes compared to Russell’s 258 votes.
Eleven more citizens voted in the May 2 primary than in the May 16 runoff with unofficial totals being 554 and 543 respectively.
The incumbent mayor defeated Palmer in another tight runoff four years ago when then incumbent Mayor Rusty Dye was eliminated in the first.
Palmer is the first woman in recent memory to hold the Sardis mayor’s position and also the first African-American. Michael Price’s victory over incumbent Mayor-at-large Roy Scallorn gives Sardis the first African-American majority on the board of aldermen.
Bonnie Smith and Clarence “Boo-Boo” Jones, both incumbent African-American aldermen, both won reelection in the first primary. Aldermen Tommy Rayburn and Jojo Still were both unopposed and are the two non-black members of the five-member board-elect.