djr-2021-11-03-news-wesley-webb-arp2

In this file photo from Nov. 2, 2021, Wesley Webb enters his ballot after voting in the Lee County District 3 supervisors race in Building V of the Tupelo Furniture Market in Tupelo. Webb on Tuesday defeated his opponent in the runoff to that special election, Buddy Dickerson, to become Lee County's newest supervisor.

TUPELO • Wesley Webb on Tuesday night won a special election runoff to become the newest member of the Lee County Board of Supervisors.

According to complete but uncertified election results as of Tuesday, Webb, 47, defeated Buddy Dickerson, the 68-year old owner of a printing company. Webb received 1,107 votes, or about 62%. Dickerson received 674 votes, or about 37%.

A few affidavit ballots remain to be processed and some absentee ballots could still arrive and be counted within the next five days, but Webb has a safe margin of victory.

"I want to thank everyone for coming out and voting," Webb told the Daily Journal. "I also want to thank everybody for running a good, clean race."

Webb specifically thanked Dickerson for being a worthy opponent and for making the race competitive.

"Buddy made me work hard," Webb said.

Special elections do not feature partisan affiliation, but Webb considers himself a Republican and previously told the Daily Journal that he would have run as a GOP candidate had this been a regular election.

A native of Tupelo, Webb graduated from Tupelo High School in 1992. He moved away from Lee County for around eight years to work for a cattle company but later returned to the area to sell real estate.

Webb serves on the board of directors for the Tombigbee River Valley Water Management District, which receives money from Northeast Mississippi counties to conduct water and erosion projects.

Webb also serves on the oversight committee for Tupelo’s Major Thoroughfare Program. Webb on Tuesday night said that he and Mayor Todd Jordan are currently discussing if he will have to resign from the Thoroughfare committee now that he is a county official.

"If I don't have to leave Major Thoroughfare, I won't," Webb said. "If I can stay on, that would be a way for the county and the city to work together."

Throughout the campaign, Webb positioned himself as a fiscally conservative candidate and pledged to not accept a county-owned vehicle. Instead, Webb will use his own personal vehicle.

Webb will now play a role in deciding key issues facing currently facing the county, including the future of the local jail, fiscal instability at the local animal shelter and the exact shape of local medical marijuana policies. 

Of those issues, the county jail tops the list as the most expensive and consequential.

Earlier this year, the county supervisors made the initial moves required to claim the authority to borrow as much as $85 million to build a new judicial complex and renovate other public facilities. A bond package of this size would increase property taxes.

Webb believes that the county needs a new jail and that he would advocate for a new facility to be constructed, but he wants the construction done in phases.

"Let’s build a jail and administrative offices," Webb said. "And then look and see what we can do later down the road from that. The biggest concern with this is keeping the inmates safe and keeping the people who work for the Lee County Sheriff’s Department safe."

Webb replaces Todd Jordan, who resigned from the board to take office as mayor of Tupelo. Todd Jordan’s wife, Christy Jordan, has been temporarily serving on the board, though she did not run in the special election.

It’s not immediately clear when Webb will be sworn into office, but he can take office once the county election commissioners certify Tuesday night's results.

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