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Deaths in 2013 force two special elections

Two Mississippi towns are holding special elections to replace city leaders who died late last year.

Former city alderman Freddie Love and former mayor Willie Burnside will be in a Jan. 21 runoff for mayor in a special election in Hollandale.

The Delta Democrat Times reports the winner will finish out the term of Melvin Willis Sr., who had been re-elected in June and died Nov. 16 from cancer.

Complete, but unofficial, returns show Love had a slight lead over Burnside, 193 votes to 184. Three other candidates were on Tuesday’s ballot.

Voting will be from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Jan. 21. The winner will be sworn in Feb. 4.

The Purvis Board of Aldermen voted to schedule a special election for Feb. 18 to fill its vacant alderman at-large seat.

The Hattiesburg American reports the position opened when sitting Alderman At-Large Milton Bourn died Dec. 29. He was 74.

Mayor Roger Herrin said the city had to call the election within 45 days of the vacancy.

Candidates have until Jan. 29 to qualify, and must submit a petition signed by at least 50 registered voters along with their qualifying papers at city hall.

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