Tuesday’s election held few surprises for DeSoto County.
But one man did astonish even his close supporters. Former Arcadia councilman Lorenzo Dixon finished second in a four-person race for three open council seats. The city’s mayor, Judy Wertz-Strickland, cruised to re-election with about 50 more votes than Dixon. In an unofficial tally, Councilman Keith Keene finished a single tick behind Dixon with 872 votes. Civic-minded Jackie Tucker was outside the circle with 771 unofficial votes.
Roughly 53 percent of DeSoto’s 16,735 registered voters turned out on Tuesday, a sizable number of those in early results choosing state Republicans over Democratic rivals.
“I will try to do my best to not disappoint,” Dixon told a supporter following a fairly quick one-hour tally after DeSoto’s 15 polling stations closed at 7 p.m.
The DeSoto Board of County Commissioners has one new face and a veteran returning to his seat at the Nov. 27 swearing-in ceremonies. Republican J.C. Deriso dispatched Democrat Mark Anderson with about 58 percent of the votes, while incumbent Democrat Elton Langford carried the evening with nearly 75 percent of the vote over No Party Affiliation candidate Brian Cho Chung Hing, a newcomer in DeSoto politics. Deriso replaces long-serving Commissioner James Selph, who retires from public service after 48 years.
Deriso ran an unusual campaign — no social media.
“It was old-fashioned shaking hands and listening to concerns,” he said. “And I credit Mark (Anderson) with running a clean campaign. I can’t say enough about that.”
Langford gained some added prominence in July in opposing phosphate giant Mosaic Fertilizer in its bid to mine in DeSoto County. That issue comes before a third-party mediator in the near future, however.
“I am humbled by DeSoto County taking care of me, right to the end,” Langford said.