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Some races picking up candidates

After one week of qualifying to run for elected offices, thelist of local and regional candidates now stands at 21, with a fewnotable politicians yet to complete their paperwork.

So far, the Lincoln County Board of Supervisors have attractedthe most attention, not unusual for what is widely considered thecounty’s top job. Nine candidates are running for the fivepositions, with incumbents Bobby Watts and Gary Walker facingthree-way races in District Two and District Five,respectively.

Approximately two months of qualifying time remains until theMarch 1 deadline, but Lincoln County Circuit Clerk Terry LynnWatkins was expecting a fuller list by the end of the firstweek.

“I just thought we would probably have a few more, but that’spolitics,” she said. “The only thing that’s certain about it isthat it’s uncertain.”

After five business days of qualifying, 20 Democrats and oneRepublican are vying for 13 county offices and one districtoffice.

Watts is facing the campaigns of Don Smith and Jimmy Diamond inDistrict Two, while Benjie Smith and Dudley Nations are challengingWalker in District Five. The Rev. Jerry Wilson, Nolan Williamsonand Doug Moak have qualified for their current offices with noopposition so far.

Lincoln County Sheriff Steve Rushing, Lincoln County SchoolDistrict Superintendent Terry Brister and Lincoln County CoronerClay McMorris are likewise running unopposed for their jobs, whilePost One Justice Court Judge Ralph Boone is the only candidate toqualify for his seat.

April Byrd Williford and current Brookhaven City Clerk MikeJinks – the only Republican to qualify so far – are running for thetitle of Lincoln County Tax Assessor/Collector.

The race for the county’s two constable positions are heatingup, with Post Two incumbent Lavon Boyd facing Kirby Ebbers and TroyFloyd, while Post One incumbent Kelly Porter is running againstBruce Smith.

District Attorney Dee Bates has qualified with the MississippiDemocratic Party to run for District 14 again with no opposition sofar.

Meanwhile, some names are missing.

No one has qualified for Lincoln County chancery clerk,including incumbent Tillmon Bishop, and no candidates havecompleted paperwork for Lincoln County circuit clerk, including theincumbent Watkins. Post Two Justice Court Judge Ann Reeves has notqualified for her position, nor has anyone else.

On the state level, no one from either major political party hasqualified for District 53 and District 92 in the Mississippi Houseof Representatives, seats currently held by Bobby Moak, D-BogueChitto, and Becky Currie, R-Brookhaven. Neither has District 39Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Brookhaven, or anyone else qualified forthat seat.

Candidates qualifying for seats in the legislature have untilJune 1, an extended deadline lawmakers put in place to allowlawmakers more time to deal with redistricting.

This year’s primary election will be on Tuesday, Aug. 2. Ifnecessary, a run-off election will be held on Aug. 23. The generalelection falls on Tuesday, Nov. 8.