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Important races on ballot besides president, senator

While much of the nation fixates on the presidential contestbetween Sen. Barack Obama and John McCain and Mississippians growever more tired of the special Senate campaign muckfest involvingRoger Wicker and Ronnie Musgrove, it is important to remember thatthose are not the only races on the Nov. 4 ballot.

Voters need to take an interest and participate in those othercontests as well.

In addition to the president and special U.S. Senate election,Lincoln County’s ballot has seven other contested races.

They include a regular U.S. Senate race and contests for the 3rdDistrict congressional seat, two county election commissionerposts, two county school board seats and a spot on the stateSupreme Court. Because the county contests are limited to specificareas, those races will not appear on all county ballots.

Although the state and county races could be considered “downticket,” the people who serve in those elected offices play a vitalrole in the carrying out of government functions andactivities.

The role of the judiciary, for instance, is to interpret lawsthat are created by state lawmakers. Fair and accurateinterpretation by state justices insures that all parties aretreated equally when they appear in court on legal matters.

In the state Supreme Court race, Chancery Court Judge Randy”Bubba” Pierce of Leakesville is challenging incumbent JusticeOliver Diaz. The nonpartisan race is the last one on theballot.

School board members play an obvious role in that they makedecisions that affect children and the education they receive.Therefore, it is paramount to have school board members who havechildren’s best interests at heart.

Lincoln County has five candidates who are looking to showpeople they have what it takes to serve on the board.

In one race, Edward C. Dillon Sr. and Ricky Welch are vying forthe Educational District Three seat representing Bogue Chitto. Therace winner will succeed longtime board member JoAnn Holmes, whoopted to retire.

In the other contest, Jack Case, Darron Wallace and DeniseRoberts White are looking to represent West Lincoln and EducationalDistrict Four. Incumbent Steve Rushing decided to not seekre-election.

And of course, election overseers have a major duty to ensurecontests are carried out in an efficient manner that is fair to allgeneral election candidates. (Political party committees wereresponsible for the primaries held earlier this year.)

In the District Three election commissioner contest, incumbentBennon Case is being challenged by Gloria Brown. In the DistrictFour race, Janie Sisco is seeking to unseat incumbent Charles M.Smith.

Aside from president and the special Senate contest, federalraces that will appear on the county ballot include Democrat ErikFleming challenging longtime incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. ThadCochran and Democrat Joel Gill facing Republican Gregg Harper for3rd District congressman. The 3rd District winner will succeed Rep.Chip Pickering, a Republican who opted not to seek re-election.

Polls will be open Nov. 4 from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. Citizenswould do well to consider all candidates and then vote in all races- from top to bottom – on the ballot.