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Four in running for Supervisor

Editor’s note: This is the third in a series of articles addressing qualifying candidates. In today’s story, we will look at qualifying candidates for chancery and circuit clerks, justice court judges, superintendent and district 2 supervisor.

With only five days left to qualify, several races have only one qualifier at this point. The deadline to qualify is Feb. 27.

Chancery Clerk

 Tillmon Bishop (R)  has served as the Lincoln County Chancery Clerk for 15 years. He said he has enjoyed the position because of the wide variety of responsibility.

“It’s really never a dull moment,” he said.

Bishop said he deals with such responsibilities as recording land deeds and helping families with drug and alcohol issues.

Bishop said he believes that if people believe an elected official is doing a good job, the people should rehire him.

“I hope they think the Chancery office is being run correctly, and if so, I hope they’ll re-elect the clerk,” Bishop said.

Circuit Clerk

Dustin Bairfield (R) has served in this position since a special election held in 2012. Bairfield said he believes he has upheld his promises from his previous campaign and will continue that work.

One of his accomplishments has been to move public records online. Most of the office paperless now, and everything is backed up as a photo and PDF. The information is stored on a server at the Circuit Clerk’s office and with the website provider, Delta. He also is working to backup all the files in the archive. Currently, the office has all marriage records dating to 1892 backed-up, and they currently are working on civil and criminal files.

Bairfield said he has also worked to ensure elections are efficient and fairness.

“The only way to do that is to get directly involved,” he said.

Bairfield has worked with both party leaders and election commissioners to make sure Election Day runs smoothly.

Bairfield has also worked to cleanup the voter roles by removing those who have died or moved out of the county.

Justice Court Judge, Post 1

 Joe Portrey (R) is currently completing his first term as justice court judge.

“I feel like I’ve done a pretty decent job,” he said.

Portrey said he has tried to create a place where people can come to have their day in court.

“This case, to them, is the most important case on the docket,” he said.

Portrey previously spent 29 years in law enforcement, which gave him a strong background in criminal and traffic laws. He said he also attends three conferences a year to help serve fairly.

“I just want to thank the people of Lincoln County for allowing me to hold this position,” he said.

Justice Court Judge, Post 2

 Chris King (R) is also completing his first term. King has a background with Mississippi Highway Patrol in the driver’s license division.

“It can be a tough job,” he said. “At the end of the day, you’re trying to do what’s right.”

King said he hopes to have the opportunity to continue holding the position.

Supervisor, District 2

 Don Hodge (R) hopes to serve the people of District 2 and Lincoln County. He helps to improve and maintain roads and bridges for safe business and travel.

“My experience as a farmer and business owner for 21 years has prepared me for service to the public and management of funds for growth and improvement,” he said.

Hodge said he hopes to manage taxpayers dollars in a way that will assure maximum benefit

 Bobby J. Watts (R) previously held the position for 12 years.

Watts said he works well with the sheriff, chief of police, the power companies, Chamber of Commerce and the library.

“You have to be dedicated to your job,” he said. “You have to be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. I was supervisor for 12 years and never took a week off.”

Watts said when he was on the board before, he spent time as the president. He said the first thing he did was go to the Chamber to see what he could do to help.

Samuel Keys (D) is a self-described hard worker and hopes to bring more jobs to the area.

Jerry McGehee (D) has a background in logging and has spent time working with current District 2 Supervisor Jimmy Diamond.

Don Smith (R) has a background as a manager, business owner and volunteer fire fighter.

Superintendent of Lincoln County School District

Jason Case (R) currently works at West Lincoln Attendance Center as the principal. Case is a product of the Lincoln County School District.