3 more join local races

Published 6:00 am Thursday, March 1, 2007

As today’s 5 p.m. qualifying deadline nears, all county electedposts have at least one candidate vying for office.

Incumbent County Surveyor Joe Byrd, a Democrat, filedre-election papers in the circuit clerk’s office late Wednesdaymorning to fill the last vacancy.

Byrd was among three candidates to qualify Wednesday.

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Bob K. Smith qualified to challenge incumbent District FiveSupervisor Gary Walker in the Democratic primary. The winner willadvance to face Republican Donald R. Golmon in the general electionNov. 6.

Robert “Bobby” Ratcliff also filed Wednesday to oppose incumbentPost Two Constable Lavon Boyd. Mike Milholen and David Robersonhave also qualified for that office. All are Democrats.

Circuit Clerk Terry Lynn Watkins said she expected a fewpotential candidates to straggle in today to file before thedeadline. Some candidates have to wait until the last day toqualify because of demands on their life situation, such as havingto quit their jobs to campaign, Watkins said.

Races for sheriff and supervisor posts will likely be closelywatched, she said.

Seven candidates have qualified for sheriff and only onesupervisor, District One’s the Rev. Jerry Wilson, is unopposed.

Wilson, Watkins, Lincoln County School District SuperintendentTerry Brister and Coroner Clay McMorris are the only candidatesrunning unopposed.

Other races garnering a lot of interest this year are JusticeCourt judges, Watkins said. Incumbents Billy Joe “B.J.” Price andJudy Case Martin are not seeking re-election, prompting a widefield of 12 candidates campaigning for those two offices.

A vast majority of candidates registered as Democrats, with ahandful of Republican and independent candidates.