Moak, Boone, Reeves, Porter claim runoff victories
Anxiety was palpable in the courtroom of the LincolnCounty-Brookhaven Government Complex Tuesday night as candidateswaited expectantly for the final results of the runoffelections.
It was a “nail-biter” of an election, with just under 250 votesbeing the largest margin of victory in any of the races. Two raceswere determined by less than 40 votes in complete but unofficialresults.
In a narrow race, incumbent District Four Supervisor Doug Moakdefeated a challenge by former supervisor C.E. “Eddie” Brown by 36votes. The final tally was 770 for Moak to 734 for Brown.
“I think this is the result of the positive campaign we ran andI’m thankful of all the supporters,” Moak said. “Obviously, we’lltake a little break and then we’ll gear up for November.”
Moak, making a bid for a third term, will meet independentcandidate Earl H. Brown in the general election.
The supervisor credited his road program with Tuesday night’svictory, but admitted what he could accomplish there was notenough.
“I think on the side of the positive we’ve done some good thingson our roads and bridges,” Moak said. “On the negative side, I wishwe could have done more.”
Ralph Boone managed the most convincing victory in the runoff,defeating Art Likens by 249 votes to claim the Justice Court JudgePost One bench. Boone collected 1,633 votes to Likens’ 1,384.
“I want to first thank God,” a beaming Boone said immediatelyafter the results were announced. “And I want to thank all thesupporters. I appreciate the clean campaign by all the candidates.It’s been a hard-fought eight months.”
Likens said he was disappointed in the loss, but accepted thedecision and conceded while the absentee and affidavit ballots werestill being hand-counted.
“The voters of Lincoln County in Post One have spoken,” he said.”I appreciate all the people who worked, voted and prayed for me.I’m extremely proud we ran a clean campaign.”
In the closest race of the night, Kelly Porter defeated Clint A.Earls by 30 votes to be named Post One constable. Porter maintaineda slight edge as results were announced throughout most of thenight and eventually emerged victorious on a vote of 1,517 to1,487.
“It was a tough race, really tight in the beginning,” Portersaid. “I felt like I was going to pick up votes from the other twocandidates in the primary, Charles (Ralph Smith) and Don (Smith),and I was a little more confident going into the runoff.”
He said District Four may have been the deciding factor becausevoters turned out in greater numbers to also vote for supervisorand a judge.
“District Four turned out strong for me, but I still figured itwould be this close,” Porter said. “I’d like to thank the votersfor putting their faith in me, and I’m going to start now trainingunder the current constable, and I look forward to starting myposition. I was elected by the people and will be ready to servethe people of Post One.”
Earls said early Wednesday morning that he has no plans toappeal the vote.
“No, I don’t,” he said. “It’s been a long, hard run and I’mready for a rest.”
Neither Boone nor Porter has an opponent in the Nov. 6 generalelection.
Post Two voters elected to send Ann Reeves forward as theDemocratic nominee for Justice Court judge to face RepublicanFreddie Canon in the general election. Reeves collected 1,187 votesto defeat Carl Brown, who received 1,095 votes.
“I would like to say thank you to all of my supporters whosupported me in the first primary and in the runoff,” Reeves said.”I want to thank my family and friends for all the hard work theydid for me during this campaign; and, to my opponents, I think wehave a lot to say to each other – we ran a clean campaign and Ithink that says a lot about our character.”
Both judge seats were open this year after Judges B.J. Price andJudy Case Martin chose not to seek re-election.
Reeves, who worked for the judges for eight years as a deputyclerk, said it was their leadership and the knowledge she gainedfrom them that helped her secure the nomination.
In statewide voting, Lincoln County mirrored most rural countiesin supporting Mount Olive accountant Mike Sumrall for theDemocratic nomination for state auditor over Todd Brand.
Sumrall will face Republican Stacey Pickering, a state senatorfrom Laurel, in the Nov. 6 general election.
Sumrall won with 53 percent of the vote statewide in unofficialreturns over Brand. He led the Lincoln County ticket on a vote of2,781 to 2,109.