Neighboring counties ready for Round Two in elections

Published 6:00 pm Sunday, August 21, 2011

Lincoln County’s neighboring countiesLawrence and Copiah are geared up and ready for Round Two of theelection season.

    In addition to the state position runoffs for governor, treasurerand state senator, both Lawrence and Copiah have local runoffs oftheir own that will be of interest to their voters.

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    Lawrence County will have runoffs for superintendent of education,District Two supervisor and Post Two constable.

    The superintendent race is of high significance, according toLawrence County officials.

    “That’s a pretty big race here and there’s a lot of interest inthat,” Circuit Clerk Sandy Brister said.

    Incumbent Superintendent David “Tony” Davis will face Tammy GivensFairburn on the Democratic ballot, and the winner of the runoffwill square off against Republican Dr. Darryl J. Scoggin and twoindependents, Amos D. Bridges and Dr. Oneida Sibly-Butler, Ph.D.,in the November general election.

    Brister said the turnout for the Aug. 2 primaries was lower than heanticipated, and he is not expecting a different story for therunoff.

    “I’m hoping for 53 percent (of registered voters to vote), which iswhat we had for the primaries,” he said. “I’m trying to remainoptimistic about it.”

    However, Brister expects a record number of Republican voters inLawrence County for the primaries, runoffs and the general electiononce the general election in November concludes. About 1,000 morevoted in the primaries than four years ago.

    Lawrence County Republican Executive Committee Chair David Pennyagreed the turnout for the primaries was disappointing.

    “I don’t expect a big turnout for the runoffs either,” he said.”We’d be tickled to death if 50 percent of the primary votersshowed up.”

    To draw voters to the Republican primary, Bill Boerner and SallyDoty are vying for the party’s nomination for state Senate District39. The winner will go on to face Democrat W.L. Rayborn in Novemberfor the right to represent the district that includes Lawrence andLincoln counties and part of Simpson County.

    Regardless of whether the turnout is deemed a success, Penny saidthey are all set and ready to go for the runoff. Election bags arepacked and prepared for poll workers to pick up Monday.

    “We’re all set for it,” he said. “It’s going to be a long day andprobably a quiet day. Both sides did an excellent job in theprimaries, and we had minimal problems. We’re already lookingforward to November.”

    In other Lawrence County races, Democratic candidates Billy JoeBoutwell and Billy Showers will see who gets to move on to faceindependent Joseph “Joe” Evans for the District Two supervisorposition. In the race for the Post Two constable, Democrats RoyceRenfroe and Mikell W. Sandifer will wait to see which one advancesto face Republican Heather Sistrump-Barton in November.

    Copiah County residents will see less action in addition to thestate races, as they only have one other runoff to decide.

    The race on the Democratic ballot is between incumbent District OneSupervisor Earl C. Dixon Jr. and opponent Billy C. Tanner. Dixonreceived 48.7 percent of the votes in the Aug. 2 primary whileTanner received 28.1 percent.

    Since there is no other candidate running for the position, thewinner of the runoff between Dixon and Tanner will decide theentire race without having to go into November.

    Copiah County Circuit Clerk Edna Stevens expected the turnout forthe Aug. 2 primary to be slightly better, and she expects much ofthe same for the runoffs on Tuesday.

    “I don’t think near as many will come for the runoff,” she said,adding that is how it usually is for runoffs. “But of course, we dohave a supervisor race.”

    In absentee voting, Lawrence County officials reportedapproximately 200 ballots already cast for the runoff while CopiahCounty reported about 100.