Starkville business man Bart Williams has defeated former professor and director of Health and Wellness Promotion Joyce Meek Yates of Eupora by a span of 500 votes, according to the unofficial results.
Yates took a big lead in her home county, Webster County and took the lead in Montgomery County. Williams took a big lead in his home county, Oktibbeha County.
However, in Choctaw County, the outcome was the closest of any of the counties. The two were separated by 76 votes, with Williams taking the lead.
In Webster, Yates topped Williams 1,529 to 1,046 votes; in Oktibbeha County, Williams beat Yates 2,092 to 1,037. In Montgomery County, Yates led Williams 232 to 131. In Choctaw County, Williams led Yates 798 to 722.
In total, Williams garnered 4,067 votes to Yates’ 3,520 votes.
“It's a blessing and an honor to be elected to serve District 15 in the Mississippi Senate. I'm so thankful for the friends and family in Oktibbeha County and across the district who have worked with me in this campaign. I couldn't have done it without you,” Williams wrote on his Facebook page. “To Joyce and her campaign, thank you for running a clean race. The district is better because of your passion and energy. I hope to work with you to serve the people of this district over the next 3 years. The real work begins tomorrow. As your State Senator, I'll continue to be accessible and to pursue real solutions for our communities and our state. God Bless Mississippi and God Bless District 15.”
Yates congratulated Williams on his win, and she pledged her support to him.
“Congratulations to Bart Williams and his family on winning the election tonight. Thank you to each and every person who voted for me today and supported us throughout this race. While it didn't go our way, I am extremely thankful for both the old and new connections that I got to make,” Yates wrote. “District 15 and its people are truly my heart. I hope you saw that in our campaign. I pledge my support to Senator Williams, and I know he will serve us well. God is good--all the time!”
Williams will succeed Senator Gary Jackson (R-French Camp), who retired at the end of June due to health reasons, and will serve out the rest of Jackson’s term.