Walker wins, but doesn’t miss shift

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 22, 2002

[11/20/02]Interim appointee and veteran Vicksburg police officer Rudolph Walker, who narrowly missed winning a first-ballot majority, easily won a special-election runoff Tuesday for Central District constable of Warren County.

Walker, who also celebrated his 50th birthday Tuesday, received 79.6 percent of the 2,056 votes cast. His opponent was Hinds Community College student David Garland Atwood II, 19, a first-time office seeker.

“I’m just elated,” Walker said by telephone from his patrol car, in which he was on-duty as the election returns were announced at the Warren County Courthouse. “This is my birthday, and there’s no better gift. I give God the credit. Everything just fell into place.”

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Walker received 49.1 percent of votes cast and Atwood 19.2 percent on Nov. 5. The four other candidates then in the race shared the remaining 31.7 percent.

As winner of the special election, Walker is to serve the remaining year of the unexpired term of former constable J.L. Mitchell, who resigned earlier this year as part of a plea agreement to felony extortion. The next election for constables in Warren County is scheduled for November 2003.

Constables and sheriffs are the only elected law enforcement officers in Mississippi. Constables are independent and are charged with keeping the peace by assisting in executing criminal laws for justice court. Though certified for all investigations, their main role is serving summonses, lawsuits and other court documents.

Under state law, the largest counties in terms of population have five constables. Small counties have one and those inbetween have three. John Heggins and Glen McKay are Warren County’s other two constables, elected from the South and North districts.