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Races for justice court judge, constable seats heat up

After just over a week since qualifying for county seats opened in Lincoln County, the races for constable for post 2 and justice court judge post 2 have shown the most interest. Four individuals have qualified in each race.

“I’m really surprised at chancery not picking up more interest since Tillmon (Bishop) is retiring. Usually an empty seat, you have a big interest,” said Lincoln County Circuit Clerk Dustin Bairfield.

Republicans Quinn Jordan and Alisha McGehee, who each qualified Jan. 2, are both hoping to fill Bishop’s shoes.

Democratic candidates Sam Keys and Valerie Moore and Republicans Mike Campbell and incumbent Roger Martin are running for Post 2 justice court judge.

The Post 2 constable seat has four candidates who have turned in statement of intent: Democrat Mary Wilson, who is currently serving as Brookhaven’s Ward 3 alderwoman, and Republicans W. Lavon Boyd, the incumbent, Krysten Butler and Troy Floyd.

Wilson would be required to give up her city board seat if elected to the county office. Bairfield said officials can’t serve two branches of government.

The deadline to enter races is March 1. Party primaries are Aug. 6 and the general election is Nov. 5.

Applications are available in the circuit clerk’s office and on the county website. It’s $100 to submit qualifying paperwork for Republican or Democratic parties. Those planning to run as independent must pay $100 and also submit a petition containing the signatures of 50 active, registered voters.

Bairfield suggests turning in signatures a few days ahead of the March 1 deadline.

“That way if they’re short, they have time to go get them,” he said. “That’s the reason why we ask them to come in a couple of days prior to the cutoff so if they’re short any they can go out. If not, they need to probably get 100 to make sure they have 50.”

He tells a horror story of someone bringing in their paperwork with 50 signatures 15 minutes before the deadline. After verifying signatures, the person didn’t have enough to qualify and didn’t get their name on the ballot.

“We don’t want that to happen to anybody,” he said.

Also, if someone chooses to run under a party affiliation not represented in Lincoln County, that individual should also turn in paperwork early enough that the chosen party representative can be contacted. Only Republican and Democratic parties have active representatives in Lincoln County, he said.

Those who have qualified to run for office in Lincoln County by Friday are:

• Sheriff: Republican Steve Rushing (i)

• Chancery Clerk: Republicans Quinn Jordan and Alisha McGehee.

• Circuit Clerk: Republican Dustin Bairfield (i)

• Tax Collector/Assessor: Republican Blake Pickering (i)

• Coroner: Republican Clay McMorris (i)

• District 1 Supervisor: Democrat Jerry L. Wilson (i) and Republican Dwayne Gill

• District 2 Supervisor: Democrat Jonathon Powell and Republicans Jerry McGehee and Don Smith

• District 3 Supervisor: Republican Nolan E. Williamson (i)

• District 4 Supervisor: Republicans Eddie Brown (i) and Jesse Butler

• District 5 Supervisor: Republican Doug Falvey (i)

• Justice Court Judge Post 1: Republican Joe Portrey (i)

• Justice Court Judge Post 2: Democrats Sam Keys and Valerie Moore and Republicans Mike Campbell and Roger Martin (i)

• Constable Post 1: Republican Kelly Porter (i)

• Constable Post 2: Democrat Mary Wilson and Republicans W. Lavon Boyd (i), Krysten Butler and Troy Floyd.