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Lincoln County School Board runoff is Tuesday

Voters in and around Bogue Chitto will choose a member of the Lincoln County School District’s Board of Trustees Tuesday who will serve for the next year.

Brian Magee, who is currently on the board, and Perry S. Brown are the only two names on the ballot in the runoff election for the Educational District 3 seat, which covers Bogue Chitto.

The field was narrowed to two following a special election held Nov. 5 when educator Barbara Buie received just 22.7 percent of the vote.

Brown, owner of Brown Forestry Service, received 442 votes, or 41.54 percent. Magee, a Navy veteran and technology professional, received 378 votes, or 35.53 percent.

The special election runoff will be the only item on the ballot and it will only be available at eight of the 30 precincts in Lincoln County — Arlington, Bogue Chitto, Enterprise, Forrestry, Johnson, Johnson Grove, Norfield and Old Brook.

Only 1,900 of the voters in those precincts will be eligible to vote in the ED3 runoff, said Lincoln County Circuit Clerk Dustin Bairfield. He estimates about 900 voters will cast ballot in the runoff. His office is open today until 5 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. until noon for anyone who needs to vote absentee.

Educational districts are slightly different from supervisor districts and also school districts, Bairfield said.

Registered voters can find out if they are eligible to vote in ED3 by looking at their ID card sent by the circuit clerk’s office, checking online on the county’s website or calling the circuit clerk’s office at 601-835-3435.

To check online, go to www.golincolnms.com and look under online services for voter precinct. Enter an address to check for eligibility. Individuals can also check online on the county’s website at the school board map. Go to “circuit clerk,” then “election central” and then “forms” for a list of PDF documents and maps.

Eligible voters can cast a ballot in the runoff even if they did not vote in the special election Tuesday, Bairfield said.

Magee made history when he was appointed in October 2018, becoming the first-ever black representative to serve on the county school board.

He replaced Ricky Welch, who resigned Sept. 10, 2018. Magee was appointed until a special election could be held for the remainder of Welch’s term, which ends in December 2020.

Superintendent Mickey Myers said this election will help get the trustees’ terms back on schedule. The person who wins Tuesday will be the ED 3 trustee for one year until it’s time for the general election.

“Whoever is elected on the 26th will take office, pretty much immediately, as soon as they’re bonded and sworn in,” Myers said.

He expects the winner of Tuesday’s race to be sworn in at the regularly scheduled board meeting Dec. 16.

There will be a general election for a full six-year term in November 2020.

“Everything should be on schedule at that point,” he said.

Myers is urging all qualified voters to visit the polls Tuesday.

“It’s important to get out and vote. I certainly hope that people will come out and make their voice known at that ballot box,” he said. “These are two strong, well qualified applicants in this particular race. Both of these guys are actively involved in Bogue Chitto school and the community.”

Magee wants to stay on the board at least another year to continue the work that trustees are doing.

“Come out and vote. It’s about your kids and grandkids, nieces and nephews. One of us will be on the school board making decisions that will affect the children. It’s important for them to come out,” he said.

Brown wants to see Lincoln County accomplish great things and believes it is possible with the right leadership.

“My dream for Lincoln County schools, I would love for them to be the premiere school system in the state and other school systems want to come and copy what we’re doing, make us the benchmark, or the best,” he said.

The winner of Tuesday’s race will sit at the table with ED1 Trustee Justin Laird, ED2 Trustee and President Billy Vaughn, ED4 Trustee Dianne Gill and ED5 Trustee Tim Cunningham.

School board members serve for six-year terms and attend at least one regular meeting a month. They receive $2,400 annually in compensation.