Governor Tate Reeves will set the date for the new election for sheriff in Yalobusha County according to the final judgment issued Thursday by special Circuit Judge Jeff Weill. Judge Weill handed down the order following the Jan. 27 trial where Democratic candidate Luther G. Folson, Jr. challenged the outcome of the Nov. 5 General Election. Independent candidate Mark Fulco was certified the winner of the race with a slim, two-vote victory, 2569 to 2,567 votes.
As stated in his verbal ruling on Jan. 28, Judge Weill ordered that election officials conduct the election in two of the county’s 12 precincts, Beat 1 North and Beat 4 Oakland. The order also stated that the returns in the remaining precincts be validated as certified except that election officials shall add one vote to the total votes received by Fulco in the Beat 5 Coffeeville precinct. Lawyers for both candidates agreed during the trial that the vote was valid, as the voter had marked an “x” for Fulco instead of filling out the oval circle.
The judge’s order also states that the circuit clerk shall forward certified copies of the order to the governor within five days. Circuit Clerk Daryl Burney told the Herald Friday morning that the order has already been submitted to the governor’s office.