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WATER VALLEY – Water Valley Mayor Donald Gray was elected the county’s next Chancery Clerk in the Nov. 7 General Election after receiving 64 percent of the votes cast in the two-person race. Gray ran as an independent candidate and tallied 2,749 votes, defeating Democratic candidate Terry Rockette, who received 1,523 votes. Gray will succeed Amy McMinn, who did not seek re-election and will retire from county government at the end of the year after serving six terms in office.
Gray will continue to serve as mayor until the end of the year, and take office as Chancery Clerk in 2024.
The chancery clerk race was one of four contested county positions on the ballot that also included sheriff, district one constable and the race for tax assessor/collector, likely the most talked about position on the ballot. In his second run for tax assessor/collector, Michael Walton earned over 500 more votes than Brad Willingham to secure a victory. Walton received 2,331 votes and Willingham received 1,778 votes. Both candidates were running as independents.
Walton will follow Linda Shuffield, who is retiring at the end of her term after serving 46 years in the tax office. She was elected to six terms and previously worked 22 years as a deputy in the tax office.
Incumbent Sheriff Jermaine Gooch was elected with 3,190 votes, or 75 percent of the votes cast. Gooch ran as an independent candidate and defeated Republican challenger Roger Pollan, who received 1,078 votes.
Incumbent District One Constable Ralph Horton also defeated J. Caleb Horton. Running on the Democratic ticket Ralph Horton received 1,179 votes. Horton ran as an independent and received 937 votes according to the unofficial vote tally. The election will be certified Wednesday.