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Party ballots set for Lincoln Co. races

Candidate fields for the 2003 elections are set following afairly slow final day of qualifying Saturday.

Lincoln County Circuit Clerk Terry Lynn Watkins can breatheeasier after having no opponents qualify to challenge her for thatoffice.

“It’s very humbling and I’m very grateful,” said Watkins, whowill be elected to a third term.

Watkins said this year’s qualifying deadline varied a littlefrom the one four years ago. She said five new candidates signed upfor offices and one who had earlier withdrawn asked that his namebe put back on the ballot.

“There was never a time when we had more than one candidate inhere qualifying,” Watkins said about Saturday activity.

Four years ago, Watkins said, there were several candidateswaiting to qualify shortly before the 5 p.m. deadline. This year,the last candidate qualified around 3:30 p.m.

Overall, 73 candidates have signed up to seek 20 elected countyand area district offices, according to circuit clerk’s office andstate party headquarters records. Of those, 58 are seeking officeas Democrats, 14 as Republicans and one is running as anindependent.

Candidates will be certified by their respective parties in thecoming weeks. For county office candidates, Watkins said she hadbeen sending qualifying papers to county executive committees on aweekly basis.

“The only ones they don’t have are the ones who qualified thisweek,” Watkins said. “I’ll send those Monday.”

In candidate qualifying Friday and Saturday, Dan Wallace, ofBogue Chitto, qualified as a Republican in the TaxAssessor-Collector’s race. He will face the winner of theDemocratic primary where incumbent Nancy Jordan is facing RitaGoss.

In another countywide office, Richard W. Swagerty will run inthe Republican primary for sheriff and face Charley Evans andKlareenca (Kris) Hutcherson. In the Democratic primary, incumbentLynn Boyte is challenged by Post 1 Constable Wiley Calcote, RobertBerry, and Don Evans. James Williams Jr. is seeking the office asan independent.

Carolyn Greer Welch, of 3006 Highway 583, is the Republicancandidate for coroner. She will face the winner of the Democraticprimary between incumbent Clay McMorris, Sherry Douglas Williamsand Alton “Bookie” Walker.

The race with the most candidates is District 1 Supervisor,where eight people are seeking the office held by long-timeSupervisor Cliff Givens until his death last year. Givens’ wifeVedia was appointed to complete his term and she is not running forthe office.

The latest qualifiers are Larry J. Boyd, of 3454 Pleasant GroveRoad, and Joe Jones, of 3397 East Lincoln Road. Jones is the onlyRepublican candidate while Boyd joins Dorsey Cameron, Alex H.Robinson, the Rev. Jerry L. Wilson, Andrew Graham, Jessie EarlGivens and Percy Rauls on the Democratic ticket.

In other supervisor race activity, D.J. (Jeff) Fauver, of 3090Jackson-Liberty Road joined incumbent W.D. “Doug” Moak and CharlesDavis in the Democratic primary for District 4 Supervisor. Thereare no Republican candidates for the office.

In District 5, Michael Assink, of 2219 Norton Assink Road, willseek the supervisor’s post as a Republican. Democrats for theoffice include incumbent Gary Walker, Douglas Falvey, Bob K. Smith,Darrell Britt and Harry Solon Case.

Races for Lincoln County Justice Court Judge saw two newcandidates in the final days of qualifying.

Wanza McGuffie, of 1039 California Road, will challengeincumbent Post 1 Judge Judy Martin for the Democratic nomination.Ricky Thibodeaux is running as a Republican.

In Post 2, incumbent Judge B.J. Price has no Democraticopposition. However, Freddie Canon, of 70 Hog Chain Dr., is runningas a Republican.

The race of Post 2 Constable regained a candidate Saturday.

Mike Milholen, who had qualified and withdrawn earlier, askedfor his name to be put back on the ballot. Other Democrats seekingthe office include incumbent Lavon Boyd, Charles B. Welch and DavidRoberson.

Races for area district offices also added several newcandidates before the qualifying deadline. Candidates for racesinvolving multiple counties signed up at their political partyheadquarters in Jackson.

In the race for District 53 Representative, Caruther Whitehornput her name on the Republican ballot to challenge Brookhavenaccountant Richard Baker for party nomination. Whitehorn, who haslived in Bogue Chitto about five years, is a mother of three and aNET service driver for King’s Daughters Medical Center.

The Republican primary winner will face incumbent Rep. BobbyMoak, who is unopposed for the Democratic nomination.

In Dist. 92, where incumbent Dr. Jim Barnett is now running as aRepublican, F.C. “Buddy” Turpin qualified for the office as aDemocrat. Turpin, of 2585 Old Malcum Road, was unavailable forcomment.

In the race for 14th District District Attorney, AssistantDistrict Attorney Hilton Miller joined Gus Sermos, Nelson Estessand Dewitt “Dee” Bates Jr. in the Democratic primary. There are noRepublican candidates.

Miller has been an Assistant DA for about a year. IncumbentDanny Smith is running for state Representative of District 97.

The 14th District includes Lincoln, Pike and Walthallcounties.

Other races and candidates so far include (all are running inthe Democratic primary unless noted):

* Chancery Clerk – incumbent Tillmon Bishop, Charles “Charlie”Hart and L. Ralph Smith.

* Superintendent of Education – Jason R. Case, Terry Brister andDonald Case.

* County Surveyor – Joe W. Byrd.

* District 2 Supervisor – incumbent Bobby J. Watts, ClarenceEdwards, Tommy McCullough, John W. Norton and Republican JamesHoward Williams Jr.

* District 3 Supervisor – incumbent Nolan Earl Williamson andHollis Kelly.

* Post 1 Constable – Donald R. (Don) Smith, Charles Ralph SmithJr., Bateman Stilley, John (Buster) Hickman, John Earl Washingtonand Republican Donald Golmon.

* State Senate, District 39 – incumbent Cindy Hyde-Smith andW.L. Rayborn.

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.