On Tuesday the citizens of Drew cast their votes and now they has a new mayor – Jeffrey Kilpatrick.
Kilpatrick is a longtime resident and former mayor of Drew and he believes he has taken his rightful place.
"I grew up here and I feel like I am coming back home to take care of my people.
“The race was pretty close but the Lord carried me through the situation and I came out victoriously," said Kilpatrick.
The results were Jeffrey Kilpatrick, 244; Harvey Burchfield, 238; and John Thigpen, 30. Results still need to be certified by the Mississippi Secretary of State’s Office.
Kilpatrick said it was a challenging situation but God was with him throughout the entire course.
"During the whole situation I remained prayed up. It was definitely difficult but I just felt like God would see me through it all, and he did. Whatever God has for you, it is for you," he added.
"God put me here for a reason and I love the city of Drew with all of my heart. I would do anything for my city," he continued.
The election was a result of a protest filed by Kilpatrick just two days after the election in June 2013 when Burchfield received 18 more votes than Kilpatrick.
The court conducted an inspection of all election materials, including ballots and poll books, in the presence of parties, their attorneys, the city clerk and the circuit clerk.
There were a total of 55 affidavit ballots voted in the election; 12 of the voters were not registered to vote anywhere in the county; seven ballots were not registered to vote in Drew; five voters had been purged from the voter rolls; one person registered to vote on the day of the election; one ballot was not properly signed by the voter as required by law; one person voted in two precincts and five persons voted in the wrong precinct.
All affidavit ballots were counted in the final vote tally as certified by the election commissioners.
Special Circuit Judge Samac Richardson ruled in favor of Kilpatrick and has granted his request for a special election.
It was the opinion of the court that because of the multiple irregularities, election code violations and the number of illegal votes counted, the will of the voters is in question and is impossible to discern; therefore, a special election is required.
"I wish Mr. Burchfield the best of luck now and in the future. If there is anything that I can do for him I would be more than happy to do so. I would love for us to work together one day – I take my hat off to him," said Kilpatrick.
“A few Sundays ago, I listened to a pastor preach about ‘A Guaranteed Delivery’ and every since I heard this message, I have kept those words in my mind – I have also found myself saying those words to my self over and over again," he continued.
Kilpatrick said he dedicated his victory to his mother and his best friend, former Alderman Lacey Wilson.
"I would like to thank all of the citizens who voted for me and supported me throughout all of my efforts. I would also like to thank Team Kilpatrick," he added.
He said he has some big plans for Drew but his first priority is to focus more on the youth.
"My main goal is to try to become a strong advocate for the youth – they are our future. I put the kids first. I am going to do my best to try and make the community a better place to live. I am also going to continue moving forward with street and road repair," said Kilpatrick.
"The city of Drew is constantly on the move and I plan to get the ball back rolling," he continued.
Kilpatrick said he plans to contact the proper entities about building a Dollar General and many other businesses in the city of Drew.