By Jack Gurner
WATER VALLEY – Yalobusha County’s Democratic voters varied slightly from the state trend in the primary election March 11 by casting 56 percent of their votes for Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois.
Obama received 1,489 votes compared to 1,098 for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, according to the official results.
Statewide Obama took the primary from Clinton, capturing 61 percent of the vote and increasing his lead with 19 of Mississippi’s 33 delegates.
“We had a moderate turnout of 35 percent,” said Yalobusha County Circuit Clerk Daryl Burney, adding that Secretary of State Delbert Hoseman had predicted a light turnout.
“We were able to handle it. We ordered a few more ballots,” Burney said, also noting that Yalobusha County was the first in the state to report results to the Secretary of State on election night.
Republican candidate Sen. John McCain of Arizona received 567 of the 703 votes cast in the Yalobusha GOP primary. McCain, the Republican nominee, took all of Mississippi’s GOP delegates.
In the 1st Congressional District race, Prentiss County Chancery Clerk Travis Childers got 965 of the Democratic votes (39 percent) compared to 739 (30 percent) for longtime state Rep. Steve Holland of Plantersville. The two will face each other in the second primary April 1.
On the Republican side in the 1st District race, Oxford ophthalmologist Dr. Randy Russell took 257 votes (37 percent) compared to 239 votes (34 percent) for former Tupelo mayor Glenn McCullough, who is also a former TVA chairman.
Russell didn’t get enough votes in the district to advance to the primary. McCullough will face Southaven Mayor Greg Davis in the second primary.
The winners of the second primary advance to the November General Election. The winner in November will replace Roger Wicker who resigned as Representative to accept an appointment to fill Trent Lott’s Senate seat.
Burney said the main thing to remember about the run-off on April 1 is that if you have to vote the same party ballot as you did in the March 11 primary because it is a continuation of the first election.
Also in April, a special election will be held to choose a successor to Wicker to fill the remainder of his term. In the April 22 election, Childers, Davis, Holland, McCullough, independent Wally Pang and Green Party candidate John Wages Jr. will face each other in a non-partisan election. In no candidate receives a majority of the vote, a runoff between the two candidates receiving the most votes will be Tuesday, May 13.
“They’ll run in a herd,” Burney said. “They’ll be no Republican or Democratic ballot.”
In the U. S. Senate race, there will be no runoff as incumbent Thad Cochran ran unopposed on the Republican ticket. He’ll face Democrat Erick Fleming who got 1610 votes (67 percent) in Yalobusha.
“In November you can vote anyway you want to,” Burney said.