McComb voters on Tuesday picked the third new member who will join the six-person city board in July and the Democratic nominee for the only other city-wide position besides mayor.
John Bates won the Ward 4 selectman position with 137 votes (52%), defeating Eddie Thompson, who had 124 votes.
Bates, who was also the top vote-getter in the May 3 primary, is guaranteed to hold the seat when the new four-year term begins July 1 since no Republican or independent candidates filed for the position.
“I feel very grateful right now, especially for the community whom I love and got out and proved the fact that I was the man for the job,” Bates said. “I thank you, McComb, Ward 4.
“I just feel awesome at this time. I just want to thank the citizens of McComb. Ward 4, I’m looking forward to working with each and every one of you.”
Tabitha Felder Isaac won the Democratic nomination for selectman-at-large with 676 votes (51%), while Melvin Joe Johnson had 641. Johnson had the most votes in the May 3 primary.
Issac will be going against Republican candidate Julius “Jay” DeSoto in the June 21 general election. If Isaac wins, she would be the first woman to hold the at-large seat on the board.
Isaac had the most votes in Wards 2, 3, 4 and 5 —51%, 58%, 52% and 62%, respectively, but only secured 35% of the votes in Ward 1.
“I’m just thankful that the people just chose me as their candidate,” she said.
Isaac said she knocked on doors in all five wards, but believed Johnson, a former Ward 4 selectman, received more votes in Ward 1 because people were familiar with him from his previous tenure on the city board.
“I felt like that he was a representative that people knew and I’m just coming,” Isaac said. “I’m just asking for a chance.
“He did serve and he has friends from that area. I would like for them to give me the same opportunity that they gave him in the past years.”
Overall, Issac said she was “overjoyed, thankful, thanking God for giving me this opportunity for your next selectwoman-at-large.”
Isaac talked about the possibility of being the first female to hold the seat.
“I feel like I’ll be able to work with my fellow workers and do a great job,” she said. “I’m coming in willing to work with them, and it takes all of us as a team to get a job done. I will be a team player. I want to be a blessing for all people.”
Bates and Isaac both noted that the next board would have six new members.
“I feel great about working with the new board and everyone in the community once again,” Bates said. “I feel that if we work together, teamwork will make the dream work.”
Bates said he will spend the next month and a half examining roads and ditches, as well as looking for dangerous trees and limbs that need to be addressed.
“I’m going to get back out in the community and see what is really needed so that I can bring it to the board and implement some things,” he said.
Isaac said she will be knocking on doors throughout McComb as she campaigns for the general election.
She said her biggest fan base has been her students in the McComb School District, where she is a teacher.
“They are telling their parents to vote for me and everything,” she said. “They are cheering me on.”
Isaac said the key issues facing the city are infrastructure, the budget and crime.
“I’m just grateful to have this opportunity to be the next selectwoman at large,” she said. “I am so grateful and I am ready to get to work for the people of McComb, Mississippi.”