For the first time in more than three decades a new face will represent District 5 on the Hinds County Board of Supervisors.
Supervisor George Smith conceded Tuesday to five time challenger Jackson City Councilman Kenneth Stokes.
Newly elected District 5 Supervisor Kenneth Stokes won't believe that his latest run for the office resulted in victory until he takes the oath in January.
"Until we're sworn in it's not official," said Stokes who reported having gone to bed repeatedly a winner in the contest for supervisor on election night and awakened a loser.
The longest serving Jackson councilman was first elected in 1989 and represents 25,000 residents in Ward 3.
As a supervisor Stokes will now represent roughly 50,000 at a salary of about $45,700.
The first order of business for Stokes is recreation for rural youth.
"I need a budget showing where every penny is going, line item so I can see where the money is," Stokes said. "I need to identify some money so we can start looking at some swimming pools in Hinds County."
The Jackson native will also push for highway expansions.
"There's nothing really in the rural areas, and we've got to bring economic development by first addressing the highway issue," Stokes said. "We need to do something with Highway 18. We need to do something with Highway 27."
Stokes pledges to help the City of Jackson and said he looks forward to working with newly elected Hinds County Sheriff Tyrone Lewis.
"I'm praying that we can take the sheriff's department and integrate them into the Jackson Police Department where we can have a one two punch to make sure criminals understand not here," Stokes said.
Supervisor George Smith did not return our calls for comment on this story.
According to the Hinds County web site, Smith began serving on the board in 1980, is the longest serving supervisor and was one of two African Americans elected to the post since reconstruction.
He owns Smith Enterprises which operates Smith's Superette in Jackson and is a licensed insurance agent.
Stokes said he will look to Smith for guidance.
But his new role is being an advocate for rural constituents.
"There's a lot of whys out here and somebody needs to ask those questions, and I'm gonna ask them," Stokes said.
The Ward 3 representative plans to soon retire, although he has the option of holding both positions.
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