County voters favor incumbents

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, August 6, 2003

Vote-counting in the Democratic and Republican primaries got offto a good start Tuesday, but vote-scanning machine difficultiesagain kept candidates and supporters waiting until almost midnightfor final totals.

“Praise God” and “amen” cried audience members as electionofficial Tommy Morrissey announced that final vote totals wereforthcoming around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday. His announcement was thefirst vote total activity in over two hours.

Eleven Democratic precincts, including all boxes in Districts 1and 5, and all Republican precincts were counted and announced by 9p.m. Sensor problems in the vote-scanning machine, however, haltedcounting efforts with about five Democratic precincts left.

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In the end, incumbent Chancery Clerk Tillmon Bishop defeated twochallengers and, with no Republican opponent in November, will bere-elected to second term.

Incumbent Tax Assessor-Collector Nancy Jordan defeated Rita Gossfor the Democratic nomination. Jordan, who is seeking a second termin office, will face Republican Dan Wallace, who was unopposedTuesday, in the Nov. 4 general election.

In the sheriff’s race, incumbent Lynn Boyte will face Post 1Constable Wiley Calcote in the Aug. 26 primary. The winner willface Republican Charley Evans, who won the GOP nomination over twoopponents, and James Williams Jr., who is running as anindependent.

Clay McMorris, incumbent coroner-medical examiner, won theDemocratic nomination in his bid for his first full term in office.He will face Carolyn Greer Welch, who was unopposed for the GOPnomination, in November.

With no Republican opposition, District 3 Supervisor Nolan EarlWilliamson and District 4 Supervisor W.D. “Doug” Moak will bere-elected after winning the Democratic nomination in their races.Each defeated one opponent.

Incumbent District 2 Supervisor Bobby J. Watts won theDemocratic nomination outright and will go on to the Novembergeneral election to face Republican James Howard Williams Jr.Incumbent District 5 Supervisor Gary Walker is in an Aug. 26 runoffagainst Bob K. Smith, with the winner going on to face RepublicanMichael Assink in November.

In District 1, the Rev. Jerry L. Wilson will face Larry J. Boydfor the Democratic nomination in the runoff in three weeks. Thewinner will face Republican Joe Jones on Nov. 4.

In the Post 1 Justice Court Judge race, incumbent Judy CaseMartin defeated Wanza McGuffie. Martin will by challenged byRepublican Rickey Thibodeaux in November.

In the Post 1 Constable race, Charles Ralph Smith Jr. and “Don”Donald R. Smith will vie for the Democratic nomination in the Aug.26 runoff. The winner will face Republican Donald Golmon inNovember.

Incumbent Post 2 Constable W. Lavon Boyd defeated threechallengers and will be re-elected. He has no GOP opponent.

Among multi-county races, Dist. 39 Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith won asecond term representing the district that includes all of Lincolnand Lawrence counties and a portion of Simpson County. She defeatedformer Sen. W.L. Rayborn and has not Republican opponent.

In the Republican primary for House Dist. 53 representative,Richard “Ricky” Baker defeated Caruther Whitehorn for the right tochallenge incumbent Rep. Bobby Moak, who was unopposed for theDemocratic nomination. The district includes portions of Lincoln,Franklin, Lawrence, Pike and Amite counties.

In the 14th Circuit Court District District Attorney’s race,McComb lawyer Dewitt T. “Dee” Bates Jr. will face AssistanceDistrict Attorney Hilton Miller in the Aug. 26 runoff. There is noRepublican candidate in the race that included Lincoln, Pike andWalthall counties.

In Democratic primary results in state races, Lincoln Countyvoters preferred former Supreme Court justice Jim Roberts overstate Sen. Barbara Blackmon and Troy D. Brown Sr. in the LieutenantGovernor’s race. Blackmon, however, received the Democraticnomination statewide and will face incumbent Republican Lt. Gov.Amy Tuck in November.

In Lincoln County, Roberts received 5,026 votes, or 50.7percent; Blackmon got 4,066 votes, or 41 percent; and Browngarnered 755 votes, or 7.6 percent.

In the Democratic primary for state treasurer, state Sen. RobertH. “Rob” Smith led the Lincoln County vote with 3,984 votes, or41.2 percent. Gary Anderson was second here with 3,550 votes, or36.7 percent, and Cindy Ayers Elliott was third with 2,055 votes,or 21.2 percent.

Statewide, Smith and Anderson are in a runoff on Aug. 26 for theDemocratic nomination.

Early Wednesday, it appeared the Republican primary was headedto a runoff between Tate Reeves and Wayne Burkes, although Reeveshad 49 percent of the vote with 88 percent of precinctsreporting.

In the governor’s race, incumbent Gov. Ronnie Musgrove easilywon the Lincoln County vote with 6,579 votes, or 67.6 percent, overfour challengers. Musgrove will face Republican Haley Barbour inthe November general election.

Several offices had unopposed candidates for party nomination.Those candidates will face off in November.

In House District 92, incumbent Rep. Dr. Jim Barnett, theRepublican, will face Democrat F.C. “Buddy” Turpin in the generalelection.

Incumbent Post 2 Justice Court Judge B.J. Price, a Democrat,will face Republican challenger Freddie Canon.