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WATER VALLEY – The slimmest primary ballots in decades in Yalobusha County could mean light voter turnout for the August 8 election. This prediction comes as the tally of absentee votes cast in the county was only 61 as of Friday, July 28, down from a hundred-plus cast during the same period in prior county elections.
Circuit Clerk Daryl Burney explained that a large number of independent candidates seeking county positions will likely create confusion for voters when they go to the polls for the August primary elections.
“Independent candidates are not affiliated with a political party and do not appear on the ballot in the primary elections,” Burney explained. “That means independent candidates will not be on the ballot until November.”
An example, the race for tax assessor/collector will not appear on either Republican or Democratic primary ballot. Instead independent candidates Brad Willingham and Michael Walton will be on the November ballot.
Choose Your Ballot
Voters who pick a Republican ballot will weigh in on arguably the hottest race in Mississippi as incumbent Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann seeks to fend off a challenge from state senator Chris McDaniel in a contest that has already included plenty of mudslinging. Hosemann and McDaniel are the leading candidates in the three-way primary that also includes Tiffany Longino. The candidate who secures the party nomination will face a lightweight Democratic challenger, D. Ryan Grover, in the November General Election.
The Republican ballot also includes an intense battle for Northern District Public Service Commissioner as candidates Chris Brown and Tanner Newman seek the nomination. Brown’s state house seat was eliminated in redistricting, and he opted to run for the commission seat. Newman has worked for Tupelo Mayor Todd Jordan and is currently on leave as the city’s Development Services Director while on the campaign trail. Brandon Presley currently serves as Northern District Public Service Commissioner, but set his sights on the mansion in Jackson as a Democratic candidate for governor.
Incumbent Commission of Insurance Mike Chaney also faces a challenger in the Republican Primary with Mitch Young seeking an upset victory. The final of the four contested races on the Republican ballot is for governor, but Reeves is expected to handily win his party’s nomination and battle Presley in the General Election.
All of the other races on the Republican ballot are unopposed, meaning the candidate will automatically receive the party nomination and advance to November’s General Election. A few of these Republican candidates – incumbent District 17 District Attorney Jay Hale, incumbent District 8 Senator Benjamin Suber, incumbent District 34 Representative Kevin Horan and incumbent Northern District Transportation Commissioner do not have opposition from a Democrat or third party candidate and will also be unopposed in November’s General Election.
Others candidates unopposed on the Republican ballot including sheriff candidate Roger Pollan will have opposition in November. Pollan is seeking to unseat independent incumbent Jerimaine Gooch.
Voters who pick a Democrat ballot on August 8 will only cast their lot in one or two contested races. This includes a three-person race for Commission of Agriculture with Robert “Brad Bradford, Sr., Bethany Hill and Terry Rogers II. The winner in this Democratic Primary will face Republican incumbent Andy Gipson in November.
The second contested race on the Democrat ticket is for voters in the county who reside in District 2. Demetrius Armstrong and John Perkins are seeking to unseat incumbent Kenneth Rogers in this race. The winner will be unopposed in November, as there are no Republican or third party candidates seeking this position.
Chancery Clerk candidate Terry Rockette, who is unopposed on the Democrat ballot, will face independent challenger Donald Gray in November.
The county’s 12 voting precincts will be open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. on Tuesday, August 8 for the primaries. Burney reminds voters that the deadline to cast an in-person absentee ballot is Saturday at noon. The circuit clerk’s offices in the Water Valley and Coffeeville courthouses will be open from 8 a.m. until noon Saturday for absentee ballots.
Pollworkers for Tuesday’s Election
Beat One North
Lowedin Doolin (return officer), Judy Sartain, Toni Hill, Martha Telford and Barron Caulfield
Beat One South
Deborah Bourne (return officer), Ellen Harper,Mary Towers, Rodney Gray, Cheryl Gray and Beverly Walker
Beat Two Water Valley
Collen Craven (return officer), Cathy Magee, Eva S. Cook, Erin Abbott, Joan Stewart, Linda Pulley and Ricky Pulley
Beat Three Northwest
Jill Clark (return officer), Cathy Pullen, Kathy Patton, Reeda Cofer, Becky York and Terry Anthony
Beat Three Sylva Rena
Coulter Russell (return officer), Rose Bennett, Connie Champion, Kim Tatum and John Ferrer
Beat Four Coffeeville
Riva Shelton (return officer), Doyle Varner, Claude Harris, Cathy Vaughn, Elizabeth Jackson, Dorthy Holland and Isherti Logan
Beat Four Oakland
Stephanie Patterson (return officer), Lizzie Earl Bland, Freddie Winters, Pauline Smith, David Herring, Carolyn Tinner, Gaylyon Haynes and Latonya Sayles
Beat Five Coffeeville
Denise Box (return officer), Sandra Raines, Avis Jean Dean, Jean Farmer, Elsie Harrison and Sue Fly
Beat Five Scobey
Vickey Camp (return officer), Rickey Camp, Tommy Hill and Pauline Jenkins
Beat Five Scuna-Vann’s Mill North
Inez Russell (return officer), Sue Russell, Clara Gerrard and Amanda Moore
Beat Five Scuna Vann’s Mill South
Emma Coleman (return officer), Diane Hill and James Caulder
Beat Five – Tillatoba
Sherry Cook (return officer), Joyce Sossaman, Timothy Little, Sr. and Shelly Little
Christine Fielder, Lamar Burgess, Tyler Hill, Suzette Ware and Peggy Kennedy