Controversy looms over Drew election
by Rory Doyle
Jul 07, 2013 | 5298 views | 0 0 comments | 110 110 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Controversy is brewing in Drew after the recent election of Harvey "World B" Burchfield as the city's new mayor.

Burchfield won the June 4 election by beating former Mayor Jeffery Kilpatrick with a count of 258 to 244, and thus began the controversy.

"When I first learned the results, I went to shake his hand and say congratulations. I started clearing things out of my office," said Kilpatrick. "But then I learned that three people filed charges against him for bribery and it's actually going to be four people. He paid people to get their votes."

Burchfield, who previously served as a city alderman and Kilpatrick's assistant mayor, denies these claims vehemently.

"It's a whole pack of lies," said Burchfield. "These lies have been going on since before the election."

Burchfield confirmed that he has been charged but will fight false claims.

He said he did not want to comment further on the situation until speaking with his lawyer but he is suspicious the claims are coming from those loyal to Kilpatrick, who served as mayor for eight years.

Kilpatrick said he protested the election results just two days after the vote and he has taken the necessary steps with the Drew Election Commission and Mississippi Secretary of State's office.

"People came and spoke before the chief of police and filed the paperwork," said Kilpatrick. "It's very unprofessional to win an election like that. We will most definitely be going to court.

"Why would someone want a leader who's doing wrong already? Who can trust a person like that with city money?"

Drew Police Chief Simon Bush said he could not comment on the situation.

The Sunflower County District Attorney's office said they had no knowledge of the conflict, and the secretary of state's office and attorney general's office said policies do not allow them to neither confirm nor deny an investigation.

Kilpatrick said he has kept his distance from city hall since losing the election in hopes of not crossing any boundaries but he is wholeheartedly pursuing answers to the accusations.

"If he did this he completely lost my respect," said Kilpatrick. "You should never bribe someone to get votes.

"I feel that everything will work out in my favor. I want the community to know that I still want to serve as mayor for the city of Drew if we find out these accusations are true."

Kilpatrick said he was also convinced affidavit votes from the election were counted incorrectly.

The Bolivar Commercial will have more information on this dispute as information becomes available.