Steve Rushing keeps sheriff’s badge
Lincoln County Sheriff Steve Rushing won’t be unpinning the badge for at least four years.
The Republican incumbent sheriff, who began as the county’s top law enforcement officer in 2006, won the primary election Tuesday with 57.26 percent of the vote. He brought in 4,796 votes in unofficial results to his opponent’s 3,578 votes. John Wayne “Johnny” Leggett, also Republican, ended the night with 42.72 percent of the vote from 30 precincts.
“I’m totally humbled,” Rushing, 46, said at the Lincoln County-Brookhaven Government Complex Tuesday night at 10:45 p.m., about a half hour after Halbert Heights precinct boxes rolled in with more about 1,500 ballots. “This is our fourth election. People in this county have been great to me and I think it shows that we’re doing good work. This is the people of this county’s election, not just me. We all work together to try to make this community safe.”
Rushing and Leggett were the only two candidates in the race.
Lincoln County Circuit Clerk Dustin Bairfield said 10,646 cards were cast including absentees and affidavit ballots. That’s 51 percent of the 20,852 registers voters.
Several incumbent candidates faced no opposition and will continue in their jobs for another four years.
Those are Bairfield, coroner Clay McMorris, surveyor Joe Byrd, District 3 Supervisor Nolan Williamson, District 5 Supervisor Doug Falve, and State Representative District 92 Becky Currie.
Two Republican candidates ran for the duty to assess the county’s taxes Tuesday. Incumbent Blake Pickering ran against challenger Wendy Mullen Smith and won by 74.13 percent, compared to Smith with 25.81 percent.
“Thank you to the citizens of Lincoln County for the overwhelming support you have shown me,” Pickering said. “I will continue to work hard to earn each and every vote. I appreciate all the encouragement you have shown me along the way, and I ask that you continue remembering me in your prayers moving forward.”
Pickering received 6,170 votes, while Smith got 2,148 votes.
“I enjoyed meeting and visiting with the residents of Lincoln County,” Smith said. “I thank my family and friends for their support. I would like to thank the Lord for allowing me to travel this road during this time in my life.”
This will be Pickering’s second term to serve as tax assessor/collector for Lincoln County.
There will be a runoff between two of the candidates for the chancery clerk’s seat that will be vacant when longtime clerk Tillmon Bishop retires in December.
Alisha McGehee, Bishop’s deputy clerk, received 3,451 votes — 41.57 percent. Because she did not earn 50 percent plus one vote, she’ll be in a runoff with Pete Moak Aug. 27. Moak received 2,828 votes — 34.06 percent.
Quinn Jordan came in with the lowest votes, bumping him out of the runoff, with 2,022 votes, or 24.36 percent.
McGehee planned to keep campaigning over the next three weeks.
“We’ll keep doing what I’ve been doing, knocking on as many doors as possible,” she said.
Moak plans to do the same.
“We’re going to continue to push forward and keep working to meet the ones we didn’t meet the first time,” he said.
“If they voted republican they have to vote Republican in the runoff. If they voted Democrat, they have to vote Democrat in the runoff,” he said.
Those who didn’t vote Tuesday can choose either Republican or Democrat ballots, he said.
District 4 Supervisor
Incumbent supervisor Eddie Brown took the seat clearly without a runoff. Brown received 68.37 percent — 1,623.
Jesse Butler received 17.19 percent, or 408 votes, while Johnny Richardson earned 14.32 percent of the vote, or votes.
“I want to thank everybody that voted for me,” Brown said Tuesday night at the courthouse. “I appreciate it 100 percent and we’re going to start paving roads in the morning.”
Senate District 39
State Sen. Sally Doty, of Brookhaven, in unofficial results Tuesday, appears to have won District 39, which includes Lincoln, Lawrence, Copiah and Walthall counties.
All three candidates ran on the Republican ticket. No other candidates ran in the Senate race.
In Lincoln County, Doty received 51.23 percent — 4,281 votes. Beth Brown received 40.41 percent — 3,377 votes — and Josh Davis received 8.33 percent, or 696 votes.
Doty said Tuesday night she had worked “tremendously hard” for the two terms she’s already served.
“I just want to thank everyone for supporting me, encouraging me and praying for me. We ran a very hard race this summer, but in reality my race has been for the past eight years,” she said. “I’m so glad that I will have the opportunity to continue that work for the next four years,” she said.
• District 1 Supervisor: Republican winner is Dwayne Gill. Democrat winner is Jerry Wilson.
• District 2 Supervisor: Republican runoff between Jerry McGehee and Don Smith. Cynthia Price won the Democratic race.
• Justice Court Judge Post 1: Republican runoff between Ian Smith and incumbent Joe Portrey.
• Justice Court Judge Post 2: Republican winner of the race is incumbent Roger Martin. Democrat winner is Valerie Moore.
• Constable Post 1: Republican winner is incumbent Kelly Porter.
• Constable Post 2: Republican runoff between incumbent W. Lavon Boyd and Troy Floyd. Democrat winner is Mary H. Wilson.
• District Attorney: Republican winner is Joey Norton. Democrat winner is Dee Bates.
• District 53 State Representative: Republican winner is Vince Mangold. Democrat winner is Rita Wilkinson Goss.