Area county voters opt to re-elect imcumbents

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Seven local races were decided in surrounding counties Tuesday,with incumbents returning to their seats in Copiah, Franklin andLawrence counties.

Four county offices remained open to the north where CopiahCounty District Two Supervisor Terry Channell, District FiveSupervisor Jimmy Phillips, Post Two Constable Ronnie Earls andDistrict Four Election Commissioner Lydia C. Green were returned totheir posts.

Channell earned 88.3 percent of the vote to reclaim his seat asCopiah County’s District Two supervisor. The Democrat defeatedRepublican challenger Tony McAlpin on a vote of 1,579 to 208.

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In District Four, Green defeated challenger Prince Evans by avote of 653 to 439 to claim her appointed seat for the first time.Green was appointed as the election commissioner for the districtearlier this year when Augustus Jones stepped down to campaign forDistrict Four supervisor. Jones lost his race in the Augustprimary.

The Democratic incumbent for District Five supervisor, JimmyPhillips, faced down a challenge by Republican Ben Vinzant toreclaim his post by a vote of 1,168 to 362.

Democratic incumbent Ronnie Earls was also successful indefending his seat against Republican challenger James Whittington.Earls was returned to office on a vote of 2,914 to 1,292.

In Franklin County, the fate of only one local office remaineduncertain as voters took to the polls Tuesday.

Incumbent Post One Justice Court Judge Butch Emfinger, aDemocrat, ended that uncertainty decisively with his defeat ofRepublican challenger Chuck Bolt by a vote of 967 to 201.

To the east in Lawrence County, voters were deciding races forDistrict Two supervisor and District Three electioncommissioner.

Democratic incumbent Billy Joe Boutwell gathered 568 votes todeflect the challenge of independent candidate Gloria O. Billiot,who received 157 votes, for District Two supervisor. The win givesBoutwell a fifth term.

Robbie DeLaughter recaptured his seat as District Three electioncommissioner in a special election. Delaughter was appointedearlier this year after the former commissioner, Lorraine Smith,stepped down for medical reasons.

DeLaughter defeated Shirley A. Givens on a 468 to 304 vote toclaim his appointed post.