Brewer appointed to fill Lena Corbin seat

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 20, 2000

After a month of trying to become a candidate in the District 1 Election Commission race, Johnny Brewer was appointed to the job Thursday to fill the unexpired term of the incumbent who would have been his opponent.

Lena Corbin died Monday, hours before an Adams County circuit judge ruled Brewer’s application to be a candidate in the Nov. 7 election should be considered as having been filed on time.

The events were unrelated. Funeral services for Corbin, who served on the commission for more than 20 years, were Wednesday.

Brewer, as a result of the appointment by Warren County supervisors and state election law, will now be the only candidate on the ballot in that race.

Initially, supervisors voted unanimously to reject Brewer’s petition to become a candidate. He filed 30 minutes before closing time in the Circuit Clerk’s Office and staff there did not verify the signatures on his petition until the following Monday. Election law is different for election commissioners, saying they should file with the clerk of the board of supervisors (chancery clerk) and that supervisors, not other election commissioners, review their paperwork.

Judge Forrest Johnson found the supervisors had acted correctly in rejecting the petition, but that Brewer had also done everything a candidate could do to get on the ballot, so he should have been allowed on the ballot.

“I think he’s been involved in politics long enough and he knows something about the process,” said District 1 Supervisor David McDonald.

Not every supervisor agreed with the immediate appointment of Brewer to the commission that is responsible for certifying election results and candidates. District 3 Supervisor Charles Selmon asked the board to consider waiting until after the election to appoint Brewer.

“Our duty is to see that District 1 is represented,” in the election, said board president Richard George.

District 2 Supervisor Michael Mayfield, who supported the motion by Selmon to wait until Nov. 8 to make the appointment, said he had been approached by members of the commission who said they did not want someone new on the panel so close to the election.

“With only two weeks to go until the election, they’re afraid he might throw a wrench into their system,” Mayfield said.

District 4 Supervisor Bill Lauderdale joined McDonald and George in the 3-2 vote.

In addition to the presidential and congressional races on the Nov. 7 ballot, Warren County voters will help decide a Mississippi Supreme Court race and select a county coroner. In districts 3, 4 and 5, incumbent election commission members will also face challengers in their bid for re-election.

The board of supervisors will meet again at 9 a.m., Monday at the courthouse.