The “King” Rules Moss Point
Any perceptions of younger people not running for political offices has been decimated in the Gulf Coast’s political arena, especially in the city of Moss Point, inside Jackson County. Moss Point voters have recently given their hopes and dreams of building a vibrant and productiive city to Mario King, a 30-year old Ph.D. student and health analytics manager.
King was elected in the June 6 general municipal elections as the leading Democratic candidate in Moss Point’s mayor’s race. He collected 61 percent of the vote, easily defeating incumbent Billy Broomfield (running as an independent), John Mosley Jr. (Republican) and two other independents, Timothy Dubose and Wanda Williams. King previously had edged out veteran public servant Billy E. Knight by just 99 votes in the May Democratic runoff election.
King will put mostly his academic achievements to full practice in running the city of 13,057.
King told the Sun Herald, “This administration is going to be strong, passionate, fair, firm and consistent.”
King graduated from Moss Point High School, then attended the University of Southern Mississippi (USM) where he earned a BS in Human Resources Management. He went on to Delta State University, where he acquired his Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) degree. He has returned to USM, where he is working on his Ph.D. in Human Capital Development.
King was also a four-year letterman on the USM track and field team.
King and his wife and two children returned to Moss Point from Sacramento, California, where he worked several jobs in the healthcare industry. He currently works as a Program Design and Analytics Manager for Baylor Scott & White Health Care System.
King’s first action items as Mayor will include: Balancing the city’s budget from an overall $3.4 million deficit; addressing the resolving alleged fraud and mismanagement of funds in the police and utility departments; improving the culture of city hall to become more transparent and accessible. King also looks to make significant improvements in the areas of economics, public safety and education.
Moss Point is 70 percent African American, 28 percent Anglo, with the remainder divided among Native Americans, Hispanics and Asians.
King represents a wave of young political leadership on the Gulf Coast. Jeramey Anderson, also a Moss Point High School graduate, was elected as Mississippi State Representative for District 110 in 2013 at the age of 21, making him the youngest African American ever elected to a legislature in the country.
At the same time of King’s election, Shea Dobson was elected mayor of Ocean Springs in an upset over incumbent Connie Moran, at age 31.
“It’s about blending the past with the present,” King said in an interview with WXXV-TV. Referring to a biblical passage, he said, “We always use the old for the wise and counsel and the young for energy. I worked hard on the campaign and went door to door. I think my vote was a mixture of both the young and old. The same way I did it then, I will do it inside my administration.”