Qualifying period enters final stretch

Published 7:00 pm Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Areas surrounding Lincoln County are seeing candidates seekingelection for 2012 county seats begin a final push before thequalifying deadline on March 1.

In recent weeks, Lawrence, Franklin and Copiah County have seen 17more candidates enter the political arena. The increase inqualifiers brings the total to 82 contenders ready to hit thecampaign trail in areas surrounding Lincoln County.


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With the addition of five new candidates, 33 residents of LawrenceCounty have decided to qualify for local offices.

The updated qualifying list as of Friday for Lawrence Countyincludes Michael Merrell, for Post One constable; Chris Wallace,for Post Two constable; Dr. David J. Scoggin, for superintendent ofeducation; Kenneth D. Platt, for District Three supervisor; andWesley E. Bridges, for District Five supervisor.

“Some of the races are kind of stacking up, aren’t they?” saidCircuit Clerk James “Sandy” Brister. “Folks get caught up in it andthey want to give it a try.”

The additions of Merrell and Bridges make the races for Post Oneconstable and District Five supervisor, respectively, contested forthe offices’ incumbents. The addition of Wallace for Post Twoconstable and Platt for District Three supervisor brings eachoffice to four qualified candidates for the positions and makes theseats the most sought-after in the county as of Friday. Theaddition of Scoggin brings the total of candidates qualified forsuperintendent of education to three.

More Lawrence County residents may add their names to thequalifying list before all is said in done. Brister said peoplehave continued to pick up packets to qualify. Who might decide toventure onto the campaign trail is usually unpredictable.

“There are a few candidates that have qualified that I didn’t havea clue would try something like this,” said Brister. “You neverknow.”


The list of qualified candidates in Franklin County now stands at24.

Recently, Franklin County has seen the addition of one incumbent,District One Constable Charles E. Brown. Other candidates toqualify recently include Chris Kent, for superintendent ofeducation; Elbert Bo Dixon, Dennis “Pipe” Shell and Gary Cameron,for District One supervisor; Leroy Spring and Tyrone “Ty” Shell,for District Five supervisor; and G.B. “Buddy” Blackwell and RonSmith, for District Two Justice Court judge.

Circuit Clerk Millie Thornton had previously said current DistrictOne Supervisor Woodrow Wilson had indicated that he would retire.The additions of Dixon, Shell and Cameron for District Onesupervisor bring the total number of candidates who have qualifiedfor the position to four. As of Friday, the county seat of DistrictOne supervisor has the most qualified candidates seeking electionin Franklin County.


Qualifying in Copiah County continues its normal slow pace. Onlythree more candidates have qualified lately, bringing the totalnumber of qualified candidates in Copiah County to 25.

District One Supervisor Earl C. Dixon Jr., who has been recoveringfrom a vehicle accident, is the last of the incumbents to qualify.All of the incumbents in Copiah County have now qualified.

The other two to qualify are Billy C. Tanner Sr. for District Onesupervisor and Dusty McPherson for Post Two constable.

The addition of McPherson makes Post Two constable the mostsought-after office in Copiah County as of Friday. There are fourseeking the title of Post Two constable.

All candidates are qualifying for the primary elections, which willbe held August 2. If needed, a runoff election will be held onAugust 23. The general election is scheduled for November 8.