Chuck Espy supporters pose for a photo during a barbecue hosted Tuesday by Espy. Credit: Aallyah Wright, Mississippi Today

CLARKSDALE – Incumbent Mayor Bill Luckett and challenger Chuck Espy will meet again in a runoff election in two weeks.

In unofficial results announced Tuesday evening at City Hall, Luckett led with 1,418 votes and Espy followed with 1,327 in the Democratic primary.  Official results in the mayor’s race will be announced on Wednesday morning by the city clerk.

Mayoral candidates who didn’t qualify for the runoff include Buster Moton, Doris Haynes-Miller and Ray T. Sykes.

Campaigner holds up sign in support of Bill Luckett Credit: Aallyah Wright, Mississippi Today

Earlier Tuesday, campaigners made the cases for their candidates.

Jemeka Hall, a Clarksdale native, said she is pro-Espy. “He’s the greatest person that I could ever think of to be the mayor of Clarksdale, Miss.,” said Hall. “All I can say is he’s the best.”

Lorenzo Edwards, another city resident, also supported of Espy. He said Espy will provide better job opportunities for youth.

Jon Levingston said Luckett has worked hard to improve Clarksdale over the past four years.

“In the race for mayor of Clarksdale, it seems to me that of all the candidates in the field, Bill Luckett is the most well-educated and has vast experience in the fields of law, business and entertainment well beyond any of the other candidates,” Levingston said.

Espy lost to Luckett in the 2013 Democratic primary in a race to succeed his father, Henry Espy, who was the city’s first black mayor and served 28 years.

In the races for city commisioners, winners were Bo Plunk, Ward 1; Ken Murphey, Ward 2; run-off between Willie Turner, Jr. and Orlando Bell, Ward 3; and Edward Seals, Ward 4.

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Aallyah Wright is a native of Clarksdale, and was a Mississippi Delta reporter covering education and local government. She was also a weekly news co-host on WROX Radio (97.5 FM) and collaborator with StoryWorks/Reveal Labs from the Center for Investigative Reporting. Aallyah has a bachelor’s in journalism with minors in communications and theater from Delta State University. She is a 2018 Educating Children in Mississippi Fellow at the Hechinger Report, and co-founder of the Mississippi Delta Public Newsroom.