By David Howell
Appointed sheriff William “Lance” Humphreys will see a full four-year term after taking the majority of Yalobusha votes Tuesday in the Democratic Primary runoff. The sheriff’s race was the only county position on the ballot.
Humphreys defeated former Highway Patrol Trooper Jamie Caldwell in a hard-fought election that began with six candidates.
Humphreys received 2,192 votes, or just under 59 percent of the votes cast Tuesday. Caldwell received 1,549 votes, or just over 41 percent. These numbers are unofficial, and do not include an approximate 20 to 30 affidavit ballots which will be counted the following day. The election will be certified Thursday.
“It has been a long hot summer,” Humphreys said after the final tally at the Water Valley Courthouse Tuesday night.
“I am thankful that everybody that came out the first time came back in the runoff,” Humphreys said. “I am going to do my best not to let anybody down.”
Humphreys carried eight of the 11 precincts in the county, running the strongest in Water Valley precincts. He also carried a large majority in the Beat 4 Coffeeville precinct.
Caldwell carried Sylva Rena, which is his home box, the Oakland Beat 4 precinct and a small precinct in Beat 5.
“I would like to thank all my supporters, the people who worked for me and tried to help me,” Caldwell said Tuesday night. “I feel like I let some of them down,” he added.
Caldwell also extended congratulations to Humphreys Tuesday night.
It took election officials just under two hours to count and show the votes cast in the runoff.
“The election went very smooth,” Circuit Clerk Daryl Burney reported. “The turnout was very close to what I predicted, which was in the neighborhood of 35 percent,” he added.
Burney said that with each election, pollworkers were becoming more familiar with the new precinct scanners and procedures mandated following the 2002 Help America Vote Act (HAVA).
“We will be working toward improving even more during the November General Election,” Burney added.
A second statewide contest on the ballot was for State Auditor in which two political newcomers, Mike Sumrall and Todd Brand faced off. In Yalobusha County, Sumrall was the top vote getter with 1,783 compared to Brand’s 1,564 votes.
Statewide the pair were running a tight race at press time.