by Hunter Dawkins, Publisher

The last 16 years have been quite exhilarating for Pass Christian Mayor Leo “Chipper” McDermott since being put in the position after Hurricane Katrina.  Officially, Mayor McDermott has decided on the Friday municipal election deadline to step down at the end of this term in June.

Although nature continues to be tough during this time frame, McDermott has been an image of the city’s success.

“I would like to thank the people of Pass Christian for allowing me to serve 9 years as your alderman and 15 years as your mayor,” stated McDermott to The Gazebo Gazette.  “It has been an honor and a privilege that I can never repay you.”

As the current longest serving mayor on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, McDermott was known for providing advice to many after storm damages because his successful economic development in the small city of Pass Christian.

“I am Pass born, Pass breed and when I die, will be Pass Christian dead.”

The end of McDermott’s term will be official on June 8, 2021.

Five candidates have entered the vacancy left by McDermott along with 3 separate political party affiliation.  The candidates are:

  • Rob Roy Adams (Republican)
  • Zenas Cappie (Independent)
  • Peggy Johnson (Democrat)
  • Adam Pace (Republican)
  • Jim Rafferty (Republican)

Additionally in four of the 5 board of aldermen races, new candidates entered in.  The listing and party affiliation listed are:


  • Calvin Ishee (Republican)
  • Kenny Torgeson (Republican)

Ward 1:

  • Buddy Clarke (Republican)
  • Betty Sparkman (Independent)

Ward 2:

  • Regina Charlot (Democrat)
  • Joseph Piernas (Democrat)

Ward 3:

  • Anthony Hall (Democrat)
  • Kirk Kimbell (Republican)
  • Catherine Williams (Republican)

Ward 4:  Incumbent Alderman Victor Pickich is the only unopposed official in the city

Both political parties have executive committees in Pass Christian, who have until next week to certify the candidates running for office.  Independent candidates received at least 50 petition signature from individual voters in their ward of the city.

The Municipal Executive Committee Party Primary is April 6 while a potential runoff election is April 27.  The general election is June 8, 2021.

In municipal general elections the winner only needs a majority (doesn’t have to be 50%) to win the election.  The Gazebo Gazette will do a profile on each candidate in the next edition.