Qualifying has ended for April primaries

Published 5:00 pm Friday, February 5, 2021

Qualifying for this year’s municipal elections ended at 5 p.m. Friday for mayor, chief of police and city alderman/alderwoman. Here are the candidates who will be on the ballot April 6.


Two-term incumbent Mayor Joe Cox is running for reelection. The city’s 30th mayor, he won the 2013 election with nearly 50% of the vote against David Douglas “SWAC” Smith III, D.W. Maxwell and Rose “Polly” Powell. Les Bumgarner, the previous mayor, declined to run for reelection after his single term. Cox was reelected in 2017, winning again against challenger David “SWAC” Smith.

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Challenging the Republican Cox in this election is the Rev. Larry Jointer, pastor of St. James Missionary Baptist Church in Brookhaven. Also a Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office deputy, Jointer is running as a Democrat.

The third mayoral contestant is the Rev. Jerry Kelly Jr., pastor and founder of City of Grace Church in Brookhaven. Kelly has been in law enforcement since 2003, working with the Mississippi Department of Human Services and the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, and has served as chief of police for Durant since December 2018. He will face Jointer in the Democratic primary.

Chief of police

Brookhaven Police Chief Kenneth Collins, a Democrat, was elected to the position in 2017 after former Chief Bobby Bell retired. Collins won with 59% of the vote against Republican candidate Jason Gaskin.

Challenging Collins in the upcoming election are Republican Mike Milholen and Democrat candidate Randy Belcher. Milholen studied at Mississippi Law Enforcement Officers Training Academy. Belcher, a 15-year veteran of the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, served as Ward 1 Alderman 2013-2017.

Board of aldermen

Ward 1 Alderman Dorsey Cameron announced his retirement this week after five terms on the board. Running to fill the seat are Elisa Corley Jr., Jason Dixon, Bobby J. Jackson and James Magee Jr. They will face each other in the Democratic primary.

Ward 2 Alderman Shannon Moore, a Democrat, was elected to the board in 2017. Democrat Danny Chatman will face him in April for the ward.

Mary Wilson, Ward 3 Alderwoman, announced this week she will not seek reelection. Vying for the Ward 3 seat are Democrats Roy L. Smith, Ashley Gayten, Roosevelt Collins, the Rev. Charles J. Caston Sr. and Robert L. Gibson Jr., as well as Republican Troy Douglas.

The one-term alderman of Ward 4, Jason Snider, announced in December he would not seek reelection. Hunter Posey, Barbara Davis and Jeff Henning will compete for the ward’s seat in the Republican primary.

Ward 5 Alderman Fletcher Grice, the two-term Republican incumbent, is running unopposed.

One-term incumbent Republican Shelley Harrigill is running for reelection as Ward 6 Alderwoman. Democrats David McCoy and Andre’ D. Spiller will face each other in the primary for a chance to unseat Harrigill.

Alderwoman-at-large Karen Sullivan announced her retirement in early December, having served on the board since 2009. Vying for the seat are Republican Don Underwood and Democrat Marilyn Dow-Harris.


The primary election will take place April 6, with a runoff on April 27, if necessary. The general election will take place June 8.

Residents at least 18 years old can register to vote in the municipal election up to 30 days prior of 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.

Voter IDs can be obtained at the circuit clerk’s office.