Circuit judge ousted, other races close

Published 7:07 pm Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The voting results at home are clear-cut, but elections inLincoln County’s neighboring communities are going down to thewire.

Only eight votes separate the race for the District One schoolboard position in Lawrence County, while the District Twocandidates are 31 votes apart. More than 100 affidavit ballotsremain to be counted, and the Lawrence County Circuit Clerk’soffice isn’t expecting final results until Wednesdayafternoon.

With the candidates hanging on the edge, District One candidateJimmy Ray Hutchinson leads Ricky Sykes by a vote of 322-314. InDistrict Two, incumbent Maxie Boutwell’s lead over challenger L.Parkman Evans is a tight 384-353.

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Lawrence County Circuit Clerk Sandy Brister said the school boardraces were very passionate this year.

“You have some good people running and popularity has a lot to dowith it, too,” he said. “You’ve got good folks – these have gottheirs and the other ones have theirs.”

In judicial races impacting Lawrence County, incumbent District 13Chancery Court Place Two Judge Larry Buffington and David Shoemakeare headed into a runoff election on Nov. 23.

District-wide, Shomake led a three-candidate ticket with 10,879votes to Buffington’s 10,580. Shoemake captured more than 50percent of the Lawrence County vote total.

In circuit court races, longtime Circuit Judge R.I. Prichard III ofPicayune, who has served on the bench since 1972, was defeated byattorney Tony Mozingo of Oak Grove. The district-wide total was21,961 for Monzingo and 20,124 for Prichard.

The 48-year-old Mozingo currently serves as the attorney for theLamar County Board of Supervisors and as municipal judge forPurvis. He previously was Lumberton’s city judge.

The 71-year-old Prichard has served as circuit judge for 38years.

Prichard was of two judges in the 15th Circuit District, whichincludes Jefferson Davis, Lamar, Lawrence, Marion and Pearl Rivercounties.

In the other election on Tuesday, Circuit Judge Prentiss G. Harrellof Hattiesburg defeated challenger Joseph L. Turney of Columbia.The 65-year-old Harrell is concluding his first term on thebench.

The district-wide total was 29,734 for Harrell and 11,100 forTurney.

In the national race, Lawrence County voters supported Republicanincumbent U.S. Rep. Gregg Harper over challenger Joel Gill by avote of 2,626-1,295. Harper won his second term representing theThird Congressional District.

The same situation occurred in Franklin County, where a largenumber of absentee and affidavit ballots not counted as ofWednesday morning could decide the winner of the county’s DistrictOne school board position.

Unofficial results from deep in the Homochitto show incumbent boardmember Gloria S. Hayes leading challenger LaTasha Brown-Holmes by avote of 227-210, a difference of only 17 votes. The Franklin CountyCircuit Clerk’s office said at least 200 absentee and affidavitballots were being counted around 9:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Other races in Franklin County were uneventful. Alice Hawley, theformer Franklin County High School math teacher who battled theschool board over prayer in the classroom, cruised to victory in anunopposed race for the District Two seat on the board with 335votes.

Franklin County voters also participated in Tuesday’s Republicanresurgence, supporting Harper over Joel by a vote of1,404-726.

There is no post-election night drama in Copiah County, whereincumbent school board member Ronnie Channell won his seat in thecounty’s only contended local race. Channell, who was appointed tothe District Two seat on the Copiah County School Board after thedeath of Walter Dell, defeated challenger Glenn Beasley, Jr., by avote of 634-573.

All other local races for judgeships were unopposed, withincumbents reclaiming their seats.

In the national race, Copiah County voters turned against 20-yearDemocratic incumbent U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson, supportingRepublican challenger Bill Marcy by a vote of 4,191-3,902. Thecounty’s support was not enough, however, as Thompson retainedcontrol of the Second Congressional District.