New Albany city elected officials took the oaths of office for four-year terms Wednesday morning, July 5, in the board meeting room at city hall.
Mayor Tim Kent was sworn in for his fourth term as mayor. Kent, a Democrat, had a strong Republican challenge during this spring’s election. Then First Ward Alderman Jeff Olson was the Republican candidate and received strong, well-financed party support, including support from the Mississippi Republican Committee. Kent defeated Olson to win a fourth term, but it was close, 752 votes (52%) to Olson’s 687 (48%). The actual difference between Kent and Olson was 65 votes.
Ward Two Alderman Johnny Anderson took the oath for his six term on the city board. Anderson was elected to three terms on the Board of Aldermen in the 20th century, but did not seek re-election at the end of his third term. Democrat Anderson returned to the city board in 2009 and has been re-elected twice, making this his sixth term. He had no opponent in this year’s election.
Ward Four Alderman Will Tucker and Ward Three Alderman Kevin Dale White had no opposition this year. White, who works out of town, was not present Wednesday morning, but had taken his oath at an earlier time. The new board will hold its first meeting at 5:30PM this evening (Wednesday, July 5th.)
Former Alderman-at-Large Scott Dunnam did not seek re-election to that seat, but ran instead as a Democrat for the Ward One seat on the board. Keith Conlee, a sales manager for a national medical supply company, was elected Alderman-at-Large as a Republican, easily defeating Democrat Larry Dykes.
As stated earlier, Dunnam ran as a Democrat for the Ward One seat on the city board. He was soundly beaten by Republican Amy Livingston, who ran a vigorous, well-financed campaign, also with strong support from Republican organizations. Conlee and Livingston, both newcomers to New Albany elective politics, are first cousins, their mothers being sisters.
Chief of Police Chris Robertson, a Democrat, handily defeated a challenger in the Democratic primary, had no Republican opponent, and was re-elected for a second term.
Oaths of office Wednesday morning were administered by Municipal Court Judge Steve Livingston, Keith Conlee’s uncle and Amy Livingston’s father. They were the last two aldermen sworn in. The police judge commented before swearing in Conlee, “I get to do my relatives now.”
The newly constituted Board of Aldermen will meet at 5:30 p.m. today, Wednesday, July 5th, at New Albany city hall.