Four to run for top cop job

Published 8:31 pm Saturday, March 4, 2017

A Republican contender for Brookhaven’s top law office filed a statement of intent Friday on the last day of the qualifying period for the upcoming municipal election.

Jason Gaskin, a part-time deputy with the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, is the only Republican running for the police chief seat. Three Democratic candidates — incumbent Bobby Bell, Randy Belcher and Kenneth Collins — qualified Jan. 3 on the first day statements of intent could be filed.

The primary election is May 2. If no one gets 50 percent of the vote plus one, there will be a runoff election, which will be May 16.

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If there is a runoff, voters must stick with whatever party they voted in the primary.

Gaskin will face the Democratic winner at the general election June 6.

Police Chief Bobby Bell

Kenneth Collins

Randy Belcher

Jason Gaskin

John Roberts Jr., a Republican who had been seeking the Ward 4 seat, qualified to run against incumbent Mayor Joe Cox. The Republican winner in the mayoral race will face David D. Smith, a Democrat.

The Ward 5 alderman race was decided Friday as incumbent Fletcher Grice ran unopposed. This will be Grice’s second four-year term as alderman.

In Wesson, two city aldermen will continue to hold their current seats. Incumbents Billy Ellison in Ward 3 and Michael R. King in Ward 4 are running unopposed in the Wesson election.

All of the candidates in Wesson run as independents since Copiah County doesn’t have an active Republican or Democratic committee.

New qualifiers last week were incumbent Mike Douglas in Ward 1 and Dirk Chrestman in Ward 2.

The general election will include the party primary winners and any independent candidates.

Residents can register to vote in the municipal election up to 30 days prior to the election. That can be done in the Lincoln County Circuit Clerk’s office during business hours, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or at the Brookhaven City Clerk’s office on Saturday, April 1, from 8 a.m. to noon.

Copiah County residents can register at the Copiah County Circuit Clerk’s office or at Wesson City Hall. Voter IDs can be obtained at either circuit clerk’s office.

Those qualified to run in the upcoming municipal elections include:



Joe Cox, inc. — Republican

John Roberts Jr. — Republican

David D. “Swac” Smith — Democrat

Ward 1

Dorsey Cameron — Democrat

Elisa Corley Jr. — Democrat

Ward 2

Vernastine Byrd — Democrat

Danny “Blackfoot” Chatman — Democrat

Shannon Moore — Democrat

Ward 3

LaMareo “Big Moe” Brown — independent

David Holloway — Democrat

Mary H. Wilson, inc. — Democrat

Ward 4

Jason Snider — Republican

Rusty Yates — Republican

Ward 5

Fletcher Grice, inc. — Republican

Ward 6

Gene Buckles — Republican

Shelley M. Harrigill — independent

David McCoy — Democrat

Harold Rowe — independent

Andre D. Spiller — Democrat


Troy Douglas — Republican

Marilyn Dow-Harris — Democrat

Karen Sullivan, inc. — Republican

Police Chief

Bobby Bell, inc. — Democrat

Brookhaven Ward 1 Alderman Randy Belcher — Democrat

BPD Lt. Kenneth Collins —Democrat

Lincoln County Sheriff’s Deputy Jason Gaskin — Republican


(all candidates are running as independents)


Rosa Harris

Alton Shaw, inc.

Marty Shroud

Ward 1

Mike Douglas, inc.

Larry Hall

Ward 2

Jarrad Ashley

Dirk Chrestman

John Welter, inc.

Ward 3

Billy Ellison, inc.

Ward 4

Michael R. King, inc.


Stephen Ashley

Rick Crockett, inc.