Two more join race for county chancery clerk

Published 6:00 am Monday, January 13, 2003

Several Lincoln County incumbent office-holders gained opponentslast week, and the race for district attorney added another nameFriday as candidates continued to qualify for this year’selections.

In county race qualifying last week, two people, Charlie Hartand L. Ralph Smith, signed up to face incumbent Chancery ClerkTillmon Bishop.

Hart, of Bogue Chitto, missed by three votes being in a runoffagainst Bishop four years ago and said that several people hadencouraged him to run again this time. Smith is looking to returnto elected office after serving two previous stints as a Brookhavenalderman.

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The sheriff’s race added two challengers, Robert Berry and DonEvans.

Berry is a former deputy with the department while Evans is aformer city police officer who now works as an investigator.

Incumbent Sheriff Lynn Boyte, who is seeking a fifth term inoffice, Post 1 Constable Wiley Calcote and Klareenca “Kris”Hutcherson, a Republican, previously qualified in the race.

In another countywide race, Sherry Douglas Williams, of 1593Hunters Road, signed up to challenge Clay McMorris for the officeof coroner. McMorris was unopposed in a special election followingMorris Henderson’s resignation last year.

Also last week, most county district office gainedcandidates.

Republican Ricky Thibodeaux, of 1886 Oakwood Lane, signed up forPost 1 Justice Court Judge. Democratic incumbent Judy Martinqualified for re-election during the first week of qualifying.

Lincoln County Sheriff’s Deputy Sudie Palomarez, who serves asthe county’s Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) officer,qualified to challenge long-time incumbent Post 2 Justice CourtJudge B.J. Price. Both are seeking the office as Democrats.

Three more candidates qualified last week for Post 1 Constable,which is being vacated with Calcote’s decision to run forsheriff.

Charles Ralph Smith Jr., an auxiliary sheriff’s deputy; citypolice officer Bateman Stilley; and Donald Golmon, of 2518Constable Trail, joined Donald R. “Don” Smith in the race. Golmonis running as a Republican while the other three are Democrats.

In supervisor districts, only the race for District 3 supervisoradded a name last week. Hollis Kelly, of 538 North Church St., willoppose incumbent Nolan Earl Williamson.

Two legislative incumbents, Dist. 39 Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith andHouse Dist. 53 Rep. Bobby Moak, signed up for re-election last weekat the state Democratic party headquarters. No Republicans havequalified in either race.

Incumbent House Dist. 92 Rep. Dr. Jim Barnett has not qualifiedfor re-election to his office.

Assistant Public Defender Gus Sermos is looking to switch to theprosecution side of the justice system after qualifying late Fridaymorning in the race for district attorney. The district attorney isthe chief prosecutor for the 14th Circuit Court District thatincludes Lincoln, Pike and Walthall counties.

“It’s going to prove to be very interesting,” said the59-year-old Sermos, who is making his first attempt at electedoffice.

Sermos cited current District Attorney Danny Smith’s decisionnot to run, which he announced Friday, and his managerialexperience as reasons for his decision to seek office. Sermos, alawyer for about six years, previously worked with the StateDepartment of Medicaid and in Public Health Services with thefederal government.

Sermos complimented Smith and his staff in their prosecutionefforts.

“I think we could work well together to do the job the districtattorney’s office needs to do,” Sermos about the DA staff.

Sermos has been with the public defender’s office for threeyears and was in private practice before that. He has also workedas a police officer in DeKalb County, Ga., and in Miami, Fla.

“I’ve got a lot of life experiences that I think would help medo the job well,” Sermos said.

Sermos joins Nelson Estess in the Democratic Party primary,which is scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 5. Estess, of Magnolia, anassistant district attorney in Hattiesburg, qualified Thursday.

Candidates, all Democrats, in other races that did not see anychanges last week include:

* Circuit Clerk – incumbent Terry Lynn (Case) Watkins.

* Tax Assessor-Collector – incumbent Nancy Reeves Jordan.

* Superintendent of Education – incumbent Perry Miller and JasonR. Case.

* District 1 Supervisor – Alex H. Robinson Sr. and DorseyCameron Jr.

* District 2 Supervisor – incumbent Bobby J. Watts, ClarenceEdwards and Johnny Warren Womack.

* District 4 Supervisor – incumbent W.D. “Doug” Moak.

* District 5 Supervisor – incumbent Gary Walker and DouglasFalvey.

* Post 2 Constable – incumbent W. Lavon Boyd.

The qualifying deadline is Feb. 28.

The first party primaries are scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 5.Party primary runoffs, where necessary, will be held Tuesday, Aug.26.

Party primary winners will go on to face each other in thegeneral election on Tuesday, Nov. 4.