Candidates ramp up for next round

Published 9:00 pm Thursday, August 4, 2011

Lincoln’s County’s incumbent constablesstayed up through the early morning Wednesday hours, yellow legalpads in hand and covered with election figures, hoping for the newsthey had clinched their bids for re-election without a runoff.

    Neither one got that news.

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    In the Democratic primary for constable Post One, incumbent KellyPorter will face challenger Clint Earls in the primary runoffs Aug.23.

    Complete but unofficial tabulations announced Wednesday give Porter49.08 percent of that primary’s vote, or 1,354 votes. Earls trailedwith 944 votes, or 34.72 percent. Bruce Smith came in third in theprimary.

    Porter needed 50 percent plus one vote to capture thenomination.

    Porter expressed frustration that he could not lock up thenomination Tuesday, but said his margin of victory is encouragingas he heads into the runoff.

    Earls was focused on turnout for the runoff.

    “I’m going to run as hard as I can,” Earls said. “I just want tokeep up the pace and encourage people to come back and voteagain.”

    There is no Republican candidate for constable Post One, making theDemocratic primary winner an unopposed candidate in November.

    Likewise, incumbent Post Two Constable W. Lavon Boyd was less thana percentage point away from escaping a runoff in a three-personprimary race.

    He received 1,237 votes, a percentage of 49.34. Boyd’s runoffopponent Troy Floyd picked up 779 votes, 32.38 percent.

    As he looks toward the runoff, Boyd said he feels confident.

    “It’s close, but I have a good cushion,” Boyd said. “I have to workharder for the 23rd (of August).”

    Floyd remains enthusiastic as he prepares for a second round ofcampaigning.

    “When you’re running as the underdog you have a lot of peopleagainst you, but you have to tuck that inside and run like you achampion,” Floyd said.

    The runoff winner will face Republican candidate Kirby Ebbers inthe general election and independent candidate Gary Dickerson.Ebbers defeated Alica Gill Warren in the GOP primary.

    In the Democratic tax assessor and collector primary among fourcandidates, Rita Wilkinson Goss received 2,097 votes, 41.06percent, and will go into a runoff against Becky Bartram.

    “I’m very excited to have made the runoff,” said Bartram, whoreceived 27.96 percent, or 1,442 votes.

    Bartram plans to continue her attempts to “meet the people” byknocking on doors and campaigning throughout the county.

    Goss could not be reached for comment.

    The Democratic primary winner will run against the unopposedRepublican Michael Jinks and independent candidate Mavis HendersonStewart.

    In the justice court judge Post Two race, the embattled incumbentRalph Boone, sanctioned by the Mississippi Supreme Court for ethicsviolations, held together enough support against four challengersto advance to the runoff. Boone is on suspension until Aug. 17,five days before the runoff.

    Boone’s runoff opponent will be Joe Portrey.

    Portrey received the most votes in Tuesday’s primary, 975, givinghim 34.69 percent of the total. Boone was behind him with 858votes, 29.9 percent.

    “I believe with my experience as a retired police officer, I havebuilt up a good rapport with the people of the city and thecounty,” Portrey said. “My name is pretty reputable.”

    Portrey plans no changes to his campaign strategy, but said he isdetermined to meet voters he missed during primary campaigning.

    Boone could not be reached for comment.

    The runoff winner will face Art Likens, the Republican primarywinner over Ed Thompson, in the general election and RaymondBoutwell, an independent candidate.

    In the justice court judge post two contest, Carl Brown and RogerMartin will enter a runoff. The primary saw five candidates but noincumbent.

    “I was very satisfied with the turnout. I think I really madecontact with the people,” said Brown, who received the most primaryvotes, 1096 votes, or 41.8 percent.

    Martin received 548 votes, or 21.39 percent.

    Martin said he is not intimidated that he trailed 20 percentagepoints behind Brown in the primary.

    “I feel confident I can pick up a lot of votes. I have a high hillto climb, but I think I can climb it,” he said.

    The runoff winner will face the Republican candidate Chris King,who ran unopposed.

    Incumbent Steve Rushing won the primary for sheriff without theneed for a runoff against two challengers. Rushing will go on toface Gene “Bub” Simmons, who was unopposed in the Republicanprimary.

    Incumbent Circuit Clerk Terry Lynn Watkins defeated primarychallenger Josh Davis. She will run against Dustin Bairfield, theRepublican primary winner over Mike Walley, in the generalelection.