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GOP-led Mississippi House affirms election of Democratic rep

Members of the Republican-controlled Mississippi House on Wednesday affirmed the election of one of their Democratic colleagues.

On a voice vote and without opposition, they rejected a request by a Republican former lawmaker for a do-over in a close election in north Mississippi’s DeSoto County.

The decision means that Rep. Hester Jackson McCray of Horn Lake will remain in the 122-member House for the four-year term. She is the first African American woman to hold a state legislative seat from DeSoto County.

McCray was inaugurated along with all other legislators on Jan. 7.

Certified results from the November election show that McCray won by 14 votes over one-term Republican Rep. Ashley Henley of Southaven.

Henley said she found what she believed were several irregularities, including allegations that people were voting by using addresses where they no longer lived. She filed a complaint requesting a new election.

A bipartisan House committee heard testimony last week from DeSoto County election officials. The county’s Elections Commission chairman, Danny Klein, said the race was conducted and counted fairly.

“I’d say the will of the voters was carried out,” Klein said.

McCray and Henley ran in House District 40, which encompasses a portion of DeSoto County, which has been Mississippi’s fastest-growing county for years. It is just south of Memphis, Tennessee.

Henley served in the District 40 seat for one term, having defeated McCray in the 2015 election.

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