Lincoln County Election qualifying update: Three more join the races Wednesday
Published 9:19 am Thursday, February 2, 2023
Qualifying is over for 2023 elections in Lincoln County. So who’s running for office?
Before the qualifying period ended at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 1, Michael C. Harvey qualified to run for Constable Post 2. A Brookhaven Police captain, Harvey is running as a Democrat. Two Republican candidates also qualified for the role of Tax Assessor/Collector on the final day — Marjorie Montgomery and Rita Wilkinson Goss.
Five candidates will run without opposition. They are: Chancery Clerk Alisha McGehee; Circuit Clerk Dustin Bairfield; County Surveyor Joe W. Byrd; Election Commissioner District 2 Janice Hart Haley; and Election Commissioner District 4 Denise White. All are incumbents and all are on the Republican ballot.
Decided in the Primary
Six races will be decided in the Republican primary.
Four candidates are running for County Coroner, as long-time incumbent Clay McMorris announced his retirement. They are Blake William Wallace, James D. Martin, Joseph “Little Joe” Honea III and Sherry Bowman Bessonette.
Incumbent Tax Assessor/Collector Blake Pickering is running for reelection as a Republican. Two challengers joined the race on the final day of qualifying — Marjorie Montgomery and Rita Wilkinson Goss. All Republicans, this race will be decided in the primary.
Justice Court Judge Post 1 will see incumbent Ian Smith face attorney Shelley Harrigill Barron.
Post 1 Constable Kelly Porter is in the race for Sheriff, so this seat is open to the winner between Lance Lewis Jr. and Justin Case.
Three Board of Supervisors seats will also be decided in the primary. District 2 pits one-term incumbent Jerry McGehee against challengers Virgil E. Stewart and current City of Brookhaven Public Works Director Keith Lewis. The District 5 race is between incumbent Doug Falvey and challengers Grady Case and Mark David Porter.
District 4 incumbent Eddie Brown announced his retirement, opening the field to four contestants — Eli Ferguson, Todd Bowlin, Cory Wallace and Calvin Kees.
Slightly more complicated
The contests for Supervisor District 1 seat and Justice Court Judge Post 2 will advance “as is” through the primaries to the General Election, as each has one Republican and one Democrat candidate. Democrat incumbent Jerry L. Wilson will defend his supervisor post against Republican challenger Donnie “Speedy” Hedgepeth. Republican incumbent Justice Court Judge Roger Martin will hope to keep his seat against Democrat challenger Shane Banks.
The seat of Supervisor District 3 opened up with the announced retirement of incumbent Nolan Earl Williamson. Independent candidate Jason McDonald will advance to the General Election to face the winner of the Republican primary — John David Hart, Brooks Warren or Ricky Wayne Nations.
Post 2 Constable incumbent W. Lavon Boyd will face two challengers in the Republican primary in Wade Hinshaw and Kirby Ebbers. Michael C. Harvey will advance to the General Election as the sole Democrat contender for the office.
Perhaps the “biggest” race of the year in Lincoln County is that for sheriff, at least in number of candidates — three Republicans and three independents. The independent candidates — Brookhaven Police officer Willie J. “Meeka” Gayten Sr., retired Army officer Henry G. “Bub” Simmons Jr., and Sheriff’s Office investigator Leslie Falvey — will advance to the General Election and face the winner of the Republican primary. Republican incumbent Sheriff Steve Rushing will face Brookhaven firefighter and current Post 1 Constable Kelly Porter and Mississippi Department of Corrections officer Troy Floyd in the primary.
The Primary Election is Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2023. If needed, a run-off will be three weeks later, on Aug. 29. The General Election will take place Tuesday, Nov. 7. A run-off, if needed, will be three weeks later, on Nov. 28.