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Walters is outright winner in Dist. 5 after final votes tallied. Endorsement in sheriff’s race creates stir.
From Staff Reports
Anyone who says a single vote doesn’t count, needs to take a look at the race for the Dist. 5 seat on the Perry County Board of Supervisors.
Election officials, candidates and interested voters went to bed after last Tuesday’s Primary Election expecting a runoff in Dist. 5 race, but after affidavit ballots and late arriving absentee ballots were counted an outright winner emerged – and by the narrowist of margins.
Incumbent Dist. 5 Supervisor Marc Williams finished well behind challenger Cody Walters in the first primary vote, but appeared to have earned enough votes to stay alive and force a runoff. But, official results released Wednesday showed Walters had picked up a handful of votes to push his final tally to 300 votes district-wide. With only 598 votes cast in the primary, Walters earned a majority and was the winner with only one extra vote to spare. Williams (137), Joseph (Parker Joe) Parker (77), Joseph C. Benefield (70) and Veramay Phenice (14) combined to split the other 298 votes.
Walters made his biggest impact at the Janice Precinct where he claimed 184 of the 280 total ballots cast at the precinct.
Perry County election officials certified the results of last Tuesday’s Republican and Democratic primaries on Wednesday and Walter’s outright win in Dist. 5 was one of the big surprises that came out of the process. Another big surprise came the day before, when one of the hottest races in the election cycle heated up even more after an unexpected public endorsement by incumbent Sheriff Mitch Nobles.
Nobles lost his reelection bid in the Republican Primary to veteran law enforcement officer Jacob Garner. Nobles, who was shooting for a third term in office, now appears set to play a big role in the November General Election vote even though his name won’t be on the ballot, after he publicly endorsed Independant candidate Jeremy McSwain over Garner earlier this week.
According to official results released Wednesday, Garner defeated Nobles by a 117 votes (1,674-to-1,557), widening his election-night lead as the vote totals were certified. Garner won 10 of the county’s 16 precints and evenly split the county’s largest box (Richton – Holly Street) to set up a November General Election showdown with McSwain, who currently serves as Chief of Police for Beaumont.
Nobles, who came out on top in the Deep Creek, Indian Springs, Janice, Runnelstown and Thompson Hill Precincts, outlined his reasoning for endorsing McSwain on a social media post on Tuesday and asked his supporters to follow his lead. The post and endorsement drew fire from numerous respondents, which in turn prompted multiple replies in support of the current sheriff and his position.
McSwain thanked Nobles for his endorsement with a comment to the original Facebook post, but stayed out of the fray otherwise.
The most contentious race prior to the Aug. 8 vote was the battle for the Dist. 2 seat on the county board of supervisors. However, incumbent Supervisor Kevin Shows easily fought off a challenge by Joel Garner in the Republican Primary by a final tally of 434-to-246. With no opponent in November, Shows is set for a fourth term in office, beginning in January.
Two of Shows other peers on the board still have work to do in their re-election bids. Incumbent Dist. 3 Supervisor Tim Wise led the ticket with an official tally of 329 votes, but will have to fend off Marvin Edwards Jr. in the runoff to hold his seat on the board. Edwards claimed 201 votes in the first election, beating out Keith Evans (172 votes), Mitch Kittrell (94) and Charles Jason Mayo (67) to advance to the runoff.
Long-serving Dist. 1 Supervisor Bobby Ray Bolton was unchallenged in the Democratic Primary, but will face independent candidate Robert Myers in the November General Election.
Dist. 4 incumbent Richard Lott easily defeated challengers Ammon Herring and James Garner Jr. to win a second term in office. Lott claimed over 66 percent of the votes from Dist. 4 with 479 ballots cast in his favor. Garner pulled 176 votes, while Herring earned 69.
Incumbent Post 1 Justice Court Judge Tim Odom easily defeated challenger Meka Morrison on Tuesday. Odom claimed 1,420 votes (81 percent), compared to Morrison’s 327 votes, to win re-election.
Curtis R. Gates claimed 76.11 percent of the vote total to win the Democratic nomination for Post 2 Constable over opponent Phillip Penton. Gates will now move on to face Republican Colby Prine in November. Prine was unopposed in his primary.
Nobles was the only county-wide candidate in Perry County to draw challengers. Incumbents Larry Wilson (Chancery Clerk), Christy Mayo (Circuit Clerk), Amy Cochran (Tax Assessor / Collector), David Walley (County Attorney / Prosecutor) and Mike Malone (Coroner) were all unopposed in their re-election bids. Incumbent Post 2 Justice Court Judge Carl Griffin and Post 1 Constable Guy Harvison were also unchallenged this election cycle.
Goodin and Burch in runoff for Dist. 105 House seat
In another important local race, incumbent Dale Goodin, of New Augusta, is headed for a runoff in his bid to keep the Dist. 105 seat in the Mississippi House of Representatives. Greene County attorney Elliot Burch led the 3-man ticket in the Republican Primary. Burch easily claimed Greene and George County precincts, while Goodin was the high vote-getter in Perry County. Burch claimed a roughly 1,000 vote margin over Goodin, while Brewertown resident and businessman Matt Brewer finishing in third place with just over 1,500 votes district wide. The winner of the runoff will move on to face Democrat Matthew Daves in November. Dist. 105 encompasses the majority of Perry and Greene counties, along with the Rocky Creek and Shipman precincts in George County.
In key state races, the much anticipated General Election matchup of incumbent Gov. Tate Reeves and Democrat Brandon Presley is now officially set. Reeves easily defeated John Witcher and David Grady Hardigree in the Republican primary. Presley, a former mayor of his hometown of Nettleton and current Northern District Public Service Commissioner, was unopposed in the Democratic Primary and will join independent candidate Gray Gwendolyn in challenging Reeves in November.
Incumbent Lt. Gov. Delbert Hoseman defeated State Sen. Chris McDaniel, of Ellisville, in a 3-person race. Hosemann will now turn his attention to a November General Election matchup against D. Ryan Grover of Hattiesburg, who was unopposed in the Democratic Primary.
Incumbent Southern District Public Service Commissioner Dane Maxwell was defeated in his re-election bid by Nelson Wayne Carr in the Republican Primary.
Absentee voting for the Primary Runofff Election will begin no later than this Saturday. Circuit Clerk’s offices around the state will be open from 8:00 a.m. until noon this Saturday to accomodate voters.