Currie leads House race; Bates wins

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, August 8, 2007

If unofficial totals are any indication, District 92 voters onNov. 6 will be choosing between Republican Becky Currie andDemocrat D.W. Maxwell.

House District 92 was expected to be a close race from thebeginning, but low turnout on the Republican side of the pollscould have been a deciding factor in the primary.

There was early confusion Wednesday over whether there would bea runoff between Currie and Paul Barnett.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

The hangup was that neither Copiah County nor Franklin Countyhad counted their absentee votes as of Wednesday morning. HouseDistrict 92 includes 16 precincts in Lincoln County, six inFranklin, and two in Copiah.

Early Wednesday, Currie carried 50.8 percent of the vote overthe 44 percent carried by Paul Barnett, the son of incumbentDistrict 92 Rep. Dr. Jim Barnett. Gene Buckles, the thirdRepublican candidate was a distant third in the final numbers with4.99 percent.

By voting numbers, Currie had 523, Barnett had 457, and Buckleshad 49.

The Lincoln County Circuit Clerk’s office confirmed all that isneeded to win outright is 50 percent plus one vote. By all counts,Currie surpassed that margin before the absentee votes in the tworemaining counties.

“I want to thank everyone that supported me and I’m ready andexcited to move my campaign on to the general election inNovember,” said Currie, who said if there is a runoff, she will beready, and if not, she is simply looking forward to the future.

On the Democratic side of the ticket, D. W. Maxwell wasunopposed. Maxwell is Brookhaven’s Ward Five alderman.

In the District 14 District Attorney’s contest, which includedWalthall, Pike, and Lincoln counties, a 10 p.m. concession bychallenger Nelson Estess made the 62 percent victory even sweeterfor the camp of incumbent District Attorney Dee Bates.

“It was really relieving. As I told someone earlier, when yourun as a candidate your family and friends run with you,” saidBates. “They don’t sign up but they do run with you, and I hademployees that were there. It was really a relief for everyone, andit was a relief for me because they were relieved.”

Through the early going, Bates led Estess by a margin that whiledaunting, was not insurmountable. But with Pike, Walthall andLincoln County all reporting, Estess called Bates to concede in theface of a 3,515-vote margin.

At the end of the race, Bates carried 61 percent of the votes,scoring a margin of 13,422 to Estess’ 8,439, or 39 percent.

“Waking up today, we’ve got a bunch of cases to work on,” saidBates Wednesday. “We’re hitting the ground running again. We justhave to wake up and stay on task and get these cases prosecuted.And it’s nice to have the election chapter closed, but we need toremember we’re here to work and serve the people of thisdistrict.”

Bates said he has several goals he plans to work toward in thefuture, one of which is to secure some grants to help victims ofsexual assault and other violent crimes.

“I want to try to get a grant that can be proactive because fromthe perspective of district attorney, we see people that are introuble at their worst,” he said. “I would like to see someproactive programs that go in schools or work with victims of sexcrimes that are more healing. I’d like to get those things working,because when there are crimes like these, the whole communitysuffers.”