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Election official contests picking up candidates

Two new faces have qualified to run for the office of election commissioner, and neither has an opponent yet.

     Betty Carroll Rushing was appointed in January to temporarily fill the District Four election commissioner post following the resignation of Janie Sisco, and Rushing has now qualified to seek a full term.

     “I have liked it. It’s interesting work,” said Rushing, reflecting on her time so far as an election commissioner. “I like the people that’s up there.”

     Stan Long has qualified to run for the District Three election commissioner office.

     “I’m just offering myself as a public servant,” Long said. “It’s an opportunity to serve in an area that needs to be filled.”

     Long may yet have an opponent, but he’s won’t be facing an incumbent. District Three incumbent Barbara Davis has chosen not to run again, citing the demands of a job in Madison.

     “I love being election commissioner, but I have a full-time job,” Davis said. “The main thing is I hope I’ve made a difference while I’ve been there.”

     In describing his qualifications for the office, Long pointed to his many years of experience in school administration. He spent 23 years as principal of Bogue Chitto Attendance Center, retiring in the spring of 1999. Since 2000, he’s managed 16th section land for the Lincoln County School District.

     Long also described his personal interest in the job.

     “I’ve always been interested in politics and in the election process,” Long said.

     For her part, Rushing said the job is ideal for her now that she’s no longer working full time.

     “I realized it’s only a couple days a week,” Rushing said. “With me being retired, it gives me something to do. I think it will be fun.”

     Rushing and Long both qualified as Democrats, though election commissioners won’t face partisan primaries prior to the Nov. 6 general election.

     The three remaining election commissioner incumbents are all eying a return to office.

     District Five incumbent Marsha Warren has qualified to seek another term. District Two’s Mike Burns and District One’s James Tillman are both preparing their paperwork to qualify for additional terms, said Circuit Clerk Sherry Jordan.

     Candidates may qualify for election commissioner until June 4.

     Candidates may qualify for a special election for circuit clerk until Sept 7. Seven candidates have filed papers to seek the post so far: Sisco, Lenard King, Paula Smith, Josh Davis, Mike L. Smith, all Democrats, and Dustin Bairfield and Mike Walley, both Republicans.

     No party primaries will be held for circuit clerk candidates. As in the election commissioner race, all candidates will appear together on the Nov. 6 ballot. A runoff will follow on Nov. 27 if no candidate captures a majority of all votes cast in the first election.

     There may be other potential clerk candidate eyeing a run.

     “I keep hearing there are others considering, but they haven’t filed anything,” Jordan said.

     Jordan, serving has interim circuit clerk until the special election, has declined to seek the office herself.

     County school board elections for District One and District Two will also be held in November. Candidates may qualify between Aug. 8 and Sept. 7.