By David Howell
WATER VALLEY – With the March 1 qualifying deadline just days away, only one new candidate has qualified for county office in the last two weeks.
Coffeeville resident Eddie Harris submitted paperwork to run for District Four Supervisor as a Democrat. Harris will face incumbent George Suggs, who is also running as a Democrat.
Harris becomes the 28th candidate qualifying to seek a county position. With the exception of Judge Trent Howell, who is running as an independent for District 2 Justice Court Judge, all other candidates have qualified to run on the Democratic ticket.
This means the majority of Yalobusha’s ballot will be decided in the August primaries.
The sheriff’s race has attracted the most candidates, with incumbent Lance Humphreys qualifying along with Jamie Caldwell, Columbus Buford Jr., William Beard Sr. and Luther Folson.
The seat for District One Constable has also attracted multiple candidates following the death of incumbent Charles Calder on Jan. 4. Marvin Horton, Ralph Byford, Brent Anderson and Terry Ellis have qualified for this position. Although Calder’s term does not expire until the end of the year, the winner of this race is expected to take office immediately after the election.
Supervisors appointed Larry Tritt to serve as constable until the election, but Tritt reported he would step down after the election.
Another race expected to heat up is for District Three Supervisor after incumbent M.H. “Butch” Surrette reported he would not seek another term.
Lee McMinn, Bailey Walker and Kenneth Goolsby have qualified for this position. Walker is a former supervisor and McMinn ran unsuccessfully for the job in 2007.
Incumbent District Two Justice Court Judge Steve Riley will face Larry Lawler in the August Primary. The winner of this race will race Howell in the General Election.
The final contested position at presstime is the race for County Prosecuting Attorney after incumbent J.K. Ward announced she would not seek re-election. David Burns and Daniel Martin, both attorneys in Water Valley, have qualified for this post.
Incumbents who are currently unopposed include Circuit Clerk Daryl Burney, Chancery Clerk Amy McMinn, District One Supervisor Tommy Vaughn, District Two Supervisor Amos Sims, District Five Supervisor Frank “Bubba” Tillman, District One Justice Court Judge Gary Tippit, District Two Constable Randy Simmons, Tax Assessor/Collector Linda Shuffield and Coroner Ronnie Stark.