Reid latest candidate in clerk’s race

Published 8:00 pm Friday, July 6, 2012

There are now more candidates for circuit clerk in Lincoln County than there are days of the week.

     Brookhaven Parks and Recreation Department Director Terry Reid entered the race for circuit clerk earlier this week, expanding the field from seven to eight candidates.

     As with many other candidates in the race, Reid said the open seat created by the resignation of former clerk Terry Lynn Watkins attracted him.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

     “I never would run against an incumbent,” Reid said.

     Reid has been with the Parks and Recreation Department 15 years, with 12 of those years as director.

     Reid said he’s been thinking seriously about a circuit clerk run for about six months. He believes he’s got name recognition in the city and the county through his years as recreation director and his longtime community ties. He’s a 1968 Brookhaven High School graduate.

     Others in the race for circuit clerk include Dustin Bairfield, a captain with the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office; Josh Davis, a private business owner, Lenard King, former principal of a Lawrence County middle school; Janie Wallace Sisco, a former Lincoln County election commissioner; L. Mike Smith, a private business owner; Paula Thames Smith, an employee with the Mississippi Highway Patrol driver’s service; and Mike Walley, a retired oil field worker.

     Reid qualified to run as a Republican, joining Bairfield and Walley as the GOP candidates in the race. All other candidates have chosen to run as Democrats.

     Proven experience – Reid said he’s got that, at a time when county needs it. He pointed to his background managing accounts and payroll at the recreation department and working with state bonds and grants.

     “I think I’m qualified. We keep our own books, do our own payroll,” Reid said. “I’ve been through state audits, never had a problem.”

     The recreation director also suggested his years at the department would enable him to ensure a smooth transition because of his familiarity with other pubic officials.

     “I’ve worked with all the city and county people,” Reid said.

     He thinks there’s plenty of time until November to elbow out room for himself in the crowded field of eight candidates. Reid said he waited until now to get into the race because softball is the biggest program the recreation department does and he wanted that behind him.

     “I’m not going to neglect this job to run for another job,” Reid said.

     In addition to what he sees as his qualifications, the circuit clerk hopeful said he’s motivated by a desire to help his community.

     “It’s just something I’ve always wanted to do,” Reid said. “I live in the county and I wanted to do something to help my neighbors. I think I could make the office something we could be proud of.”

     Were Reid to win, the recreation department would have to advertise the open director position, and the department’s board would select the director among the applicants. City aldermen appoint the recreation department board.

     Circuit clerk candidates may continue to qualify until Sept. 7 for the special election that will occur Nov. 6 alongside federal elections.

     There will be no partisan primaries. All candidates will appear on the same ballot, with a runoff scheduled for Nov. 27 between the top two candidates if no one receives more than 50 percent of the vote on the first ballot.