Huskey, Ashley-Palmertree sign up for re-election|[01/12/07]

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 12, 2007

Coroner Doug Huskey and Circuit Clerk Shelly Ashley-Palmertree will be on the ballot later this year, as qualifying for the fall elections continued.

Both turned in paperwork to run Wednesday. Huskey, 48, is seeking a full term in the job, having won a special election Nov. 7 to fill the unexpired term of John Thomason, who was killed in a car wreck July 22.

Lay coroners in Mississippi are paid $750 per month plus $85 per inquest.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

Ashley-Palmertree, 37, is running for her second term to the office responsible for the filing of civil suits, criminal cases, registering voters and marriage certificates.

Her father, Larry Ashley, served 16 years as circuit clerk before retiring in 2003. Ashley-Palmertree, who had worked for her father, won election to the seat with 63 percent of the vote.

Circuit clerks are among the most lucrative positions in county government. The job is fee-based, not salaried. But while the Legislature has capped fees at $90,000, supplemental pay has boosted the annual salary of clerks in Mississippi as high as $138,000. The fees are paid by people who use the clerk’s services and are charged when lawsuits are filed, marriage licenses are purchased and for other functions. Circuit clerks also accept voter registrations, but there is no fee charged to enroll as a voter.

According to the state auditor’s most recent annual report, reflecting 2005, Ashley-Palmertree’s total annual income reached $135,209 that year, second-highest in the state.

Huskey filed as an independent, meaning he advances to the November general election. Ashley-Palmertree filed as a Democrat, meaning she will appear on party primary ballots in August.

Local offices that will be on the ballot along with statewide offices include state senator and representatives, district attorney, sheriff, tax assessor, tax collector, county prosecutor, justice court judges and constables. All candidates must file by March 1.

All five Warren County supervisors will face re-election as well, though only District 3 Supervisor Charles Selmon has officially qualified to run.

The other four incumbents on the county board have said they will seek new terms.