Supreme Court runoff Tuesday

Published 6:00 am Monday, November 20, 2000

Lincoln County voters return to the polls Tuesday to help decidea runoff for a seat on the state Supreme Court while some voters inFranklin County will also choose a supervisor in special electionrunoff.

In the supreme court runoff, Keith Starrett, circuit judge forLincoln, Pike and Walthall counties, is going against incumbentjustice Oliver Diaz. Polls will be open Tuesday from 7 a.m to 7p.m.

In voting across the 27-county supreme court district on Nov. 7,Diaz was the front runner with about 39 percent while Starrettqualified for the runoff with 31 percent. Jones County Judge BillyJoe Landrum was third with 30 percent.

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Lincoln County went overwhelming to Starrett, who got 8,824votes while Diaz was second with 2,541 votes. Landrum received1,842 votes. Starrett is hopeful voters will return to the pollsTuesday and has been using mailouts and other campaign efforts toaccomplish that goal.

“The secret is to get your voters back to the polls,” Starrettsaid after qualifying for the runoff. “That’s everybody’sstrategy.”

Lincoln County absentee voting in the court runoff has been verylow, according circuit clerk’s office totals.

Through Saturday, the last day to vote absentee in the clerk’soffice, 32 people had voted. Another 36 absentee ballots had beenrequested by mail and may be received by mail until 5 p.m.Monday.

Always optimistic, Lincoln County Circuit Clerk Terry CaseWatkins is hoping for a good turnout Tuesday. She said Tuesday’srunoff is just as important as any race on the ballot two weeksago.

“People need to get out and vote,” Watkins said.

In addition to the supreme court race, Franklin County District1 voters will also elect a new supervisor to fill the remainder ofDavid Griffin’s term following his death a year ago. Griffin’swife, Elizabeth, had occupied the seat until a special electioncould be held, said Circuit Clerk Millie Thornton.

Tony Mullins and Woodrow Wilson are vying to be supervisor inthe western Franklin County district that includes the precincts ofHamburg, Knoxville and Roxie I and II. In a six-candidate field onNov. 7, Mullins was the front runner with 301 votes and Wilson wassecond with 262.

Thornton said the court and supervisor runoffs were generatinglittle interest. She said about 80 people had voted absentee thistime compared to around 280 two weeks ago.

“It’s really been pretty slow compared to the election the otherday,” Thornton said. “It’s been pretty slow and really quiet.”