Tempers flare amid Hattiesburg mayoral election vote count

The counting of paper ballots in the special mayoral election continued to move at a glacial pace, as Dave Ware clings to his 32-vote lead over Mayor Johnny DuPree.

But Ware vs. DuPree took a backseat to Jones vs. Perry on Thursday, as the brewing battle between Election Commissioner Turner Jones and Ware election observer Pete Perry erupted into a heated verbal exchange at City Hall.

“Either he goes or I go,” Jones said angrily as he stormed out of the council chambers during the early afternoon.

Despite threats of quitting punctuated by a dramatic exit out the front door of City Hall, Jones stayed to continue the vote count.

His nemesis Perry agreed to remain outside the council chambers while other Ware observers took his place for the ballot inspections.

The fight erupted over crucial absentee ballots from the Train Depot, a precinct that sided heavily with DuPree on Tuesday.

Hattiesburg American