First candidate files petition to be coroner|[8/9/06]

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 9, 2006

Vicksburg native Doug Huskey Tuesday became the first candidate to file to run for Warren County coroner in a special election on Nov. 7.

The Warren County Board of Supervisors called for the election after John A. Thomason III died July 22 in a motor vehicle accident on U.S. 61 South as he was headed on a call for Frank J. Fisher Funeral Home, where he was managing funeral director. He had been coroner for the past six years, being first appointed to the job and then winning election to the office.

The supervisors were able to set the special election for Nov. 7 because the vacancy created by Thomason’s death happened more than 90 days before election day.

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Huskey, 48, filed his qualifying petition Tuesday afternoon with the Warren County Circuit Clerk’s office to run in the election, becoming the first person to file.

Since this is a special election, candidates all run without political party affiliation after they file a petition with the signatures of at least 50 qualified voters. The Warren County Election Commission must verify there are at least 50 electors signing before a petition is certified.

The deadline for filing is Sept. 8.

Larry Chisley, owner and operator of Dillon-Chisley Funeral Home was appointed interim coroner by supervisors July 24. He had been Thomason’s deputy since 2000.

When contacted this morning, Chisley said he has not decided if he is going to run for the office.

Huskey has been employed at Glenwood Funeral Home for the past 29 years. He is a licensed funeral director and embalmer.

He is a graduate of Warren Central High School and of the Commonwealth College of Funeral Services in Houston, Texas.

He and his wife, Barbara, have two children and a granddaughter.

He is a member of Triumph Church and of the Vicksburg Civitan Club, where he served four terms as president.

This is Huskey’s first attempt at public office.

In Mississippi, lay coroners are paid $750 per month and $85 per inquest. Coroners investigate all deaths due to trauma or if the deceased was not being actively treated by a physician. They rule on the cause and manner of death.

In addition to the coroner’s race, elections for seats on the 9th Circuit Court District, 9th Chancery Court District, Vicksburg Warren School District Board of Trustees, 2nd District of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate will appear on the ballot.