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Sen. Chaney defeats Southerland for re-election

[11/5/03]Arriving home Tuesday night and finding eggs thrown at his house and cars didn’t faze Sen. Mike Chaney, who defeated challenger Marcie Tanner Southerland to win a second term in the District 23 seat.

“The only thing broken is a few chicken eggs,” Chaney said. “None of our spirits are broken.”

Chaney, 59, a Republican, received 9,605 votes to 7,254 for Southerland, 50, in the district that includes all of Warren and Issaquena counties and part of Yazoo.

“It’s been a tough race,” Chaney said. “I had a lot of help from a lot of great folks, especially my family and voters in the district.”

Chaney, a business owner, served seven years in the state House from District 54 before running for and winning the Senate seat vacated in 1999 by Sen. Grey Ferris who made a bid for lieutenant governor.

The next legislative session will begin the first week of January.

“We want to continue the progress we’ve made with education,” said Chaney, who has served as vice chairman of the Senate’s education committee.

During this year’s session, legislators made education a priority by voting to fully fund requests for allocations early in the session.

Chaney said another challenge will be allocating the state’s money.

“There are ways to balance the budget without making a lot of cuts,” he said. He and Southerland were both on record as opposing any tax increases.

Southerland, who is serving a one-year appointment as the prosecuting attorney for Warren County, said she will keep working in her private practice.

“My plans are to continue to be right here in Warren County practicing law and working for the people of Warren County,” she said. “That’s what I’ve always done.”

Southerland was a Warren County Justice Court judge for 17 years.

Tuesday’s results mean there will be no change among Vicksburg delegates to the Legislature.

Rep. Chester Masterson, a Republican, was unopposed for a second term in District 54 after defeating a primary opponent. Rep. George Flaggs, a Democrat, was unopposed for a fourth term from District 55.

In the race for house District 56, which includes a small portion of Warren County, Republican Philip Gunn had a 91 percent lead against Democrat Paige Eaves Gill, with 25 of 26 precincts reporting.

Gunn had 7,689 votes while Gill had 1,746 votes.

Most of District 56 is in Hinds, Madison and Yazoo counties.

Incumbent Jep Barbour, a Republican, was the apparent winner after primary voting on Aug. 5, but after a revote in two Clinton precincts, Gunn was declared the winner. The state Supreme Court voted Friday to refuse to block Gunn’s victory, allowing him to compete in the election.