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Commissioner race decided by mere one vote

Tuesday’s race for Lincoln County Election Commissioner District4 was decided by one vote – probably the closest election in countyhistory, said Lincoln County Circuit Clerk Terry Lynn Watkins.

Challenger Janie Sisco collected 1,580 votes from the district’ssix precincts, defeating 20-year veteran incumbent Charles MonroeSmith, who fell one vote short with 1,579. The percentage tallyfrom the race was 49.87 percent to 49.84 percent.

“I knew it was going to be a close race because we’re from thesame community,” said Sisco, who lives only a few miles South ofSmith on Jackson Liberty Drive. “It was just a toss-up withus.”

Smith, who was feeling ill Tuesday night, left the courthousebefore all votes were counted. He could not be reached for commentWednesday morning.

Watkins said Smith has 10 days from Tuesday to challenge thetally and request a recount, but for now Sisco is the winner.

Sisco, who has never participated in politics before, was takenaback by the hair-width decision in her first ever race. Siscopraised Smith as a good man, saying she knew he would get a lot ofvotes.

“Wow,” she said around midnight Tuesday as she finally left thevote-counting in the Lincoln County-Brookhaven Government Complex.”I never thought it would be that close.”

As it stands, Sisco will become the only new face on thecommission when the office changes hands in January.

Three of the commissioners ran unopposed, and incumbent BennonCase defeated challenger Gloria Brown by a vote of 2,202-1,042,gathering in almost 68 percent of the votes in District 3’sprecincts to Brown’s 32 percent.

The 74-year-old Case, elated in his late-night victory, said thenext four years will likely be his last with the electioncommission.

“This will probably be my last time to run,” he said. “I enjoywhat I’m doing, and I’m proud I won – I didn’t think I’d win bythat majority.”

Case, who has served on the commission since 2006 as anappointee after the death of Floy McClellan, will begin his firstfull term in January.

Case, who has had victorious bouts with cancer, said he wouldnot have run had he not received a clean bill of health. He gaveall the credit to the Lord and Baptist Medical Center’s Dr. TammyYoung.

“I feel better than I ever have, and we have a lot of things toaccomplish,” he said.