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Former lawmaker wins mayor's race by default

GULFPORT — Republican Billy Hewes III will be the new mayor of Gulfport.

Hewes’ opponent, Democrat Billy Barnes, dropped out of the race this past week, and Hewes is the only other candidate.

The general election is June 4.

Incumbent Mayor George Schloegel isn’t seeking a second term.

Hewes served 20 years in the Mississippi Senate — his last four years as the chamber’s president pro tempore — second in command to the lieutenant governor. He is an insurance agent in Gulfport.

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