Former State Representative Elected As City Mayor In Hometown
CLARKSDALE, MS -- Elections. Campaigns. Run-offs. All of these words relate to politics - which is nothing new for the Espy family. After Tuesday's run-off election, former state Rep. Henry "Chuck" Espy III will become the next mayor for the city of Clarksdale - a job once held by his father.
His father, Henry Espy Jr., was the city's first black mayor for 28 years as he held this position for nearly three decades while his sister, Jaye, served in the Department of Education under President Obama. His uncle, Mike Espy, also a House of Representative member, became the first African-American selected as the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture by President Clinton.
Elected in 1999, Chuck Espy also served in the Mississippi State Legislature as a member of the Democratic Party representing the 26th District until 2016. Serving for 16 years, he did not run for re-election to the state House in 2015.
Only few mayoral primaries statewide drew the attention that this race generated. Eliminating other opponents during the general election, the candidacy came down to Espy, the scion of one of Mississippi's most influential black political families and Luckett - a Clarksdale attorney and businessman.
The race saw the son of the city's longtime former mayor face off against one of the city's best-known entrepreneurs.
Losing the 2013 mayor's race, Espy was out for a vengeance during this year's election. He defeated one-term Mayor Bill Luckett in a Democratic primary runoff on Tuesday. Luckett was seeking re-election to a second term as mayor of Clarksdale.
"I made a concerted effort to give my ear to those who live here and believe in the power of making Clarksdale strong," said Espy of his candidacy for mayor.
Voters sided with Espy as an unofficial tally had him winning 2,356 votes to Luckett's 1,674. Due to not having an opponent in the June 6 general election, he will begin his new term in office on July 1.