Restaurant owner in school board race

Published 11:58 am Tuesday, September 28, 2010

With fewer than four days left in the qualifying period, a local eatery operator is the first candidate in the race for District 5 Vicksburg Warren School District trustee.

Sally Bullard, 48, who operates Main Street Market Cafe, qualified Monday for the seat. Incumbent Tommy Shelton has said he will not seek a second term in the district that covers southeast Warren County.

Bullard, a 1980 Vicksburg High School graduate who attended Mississippi State University, said she is “fully vested in the school system,” with three children in the 9,000-student district. Qualifying ends Friday for the race in District 5 and in District 1, where incumbent Jerry Boland and Bryan Pratt have filed paperwork to run.

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Winners for school district races here are decided by plurality vote with no runoffs and have a longer qualifying period than most Mississippi counties, the result of a hodgepodge of state laws following the consolidation of city and county districts in the state.

Despite the implementation of touch-screen machines in most counties since 2006, votes in Warren County’s two school board races will be taken on paper ballots again because lists generated by the state are sent earlier.

Voter registration continues through Oct. 2, while absentee voting ends Oct. 30. Both are Saturdays, with hours in the circuit clerk’s office until noon.

Both school board races appear on a general election ballot headlined by the congressional race in Mississippi’s 2nd District between Democrat U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson and Republican challenger Bill Marcy. Reform Party candidate Ashley Norwood of Canton also will appear on the ballot.

Eight candidates are on the list of those vying for justice court judge in Warren County’s city-based central district — incumbent judge and funeral director James E. Jefferson Jr., Vicksburg Police Sgt. Beverly Prentiss, retired police Lt. Dora Smith, former constable Rudolph Walker, former U.S. Navy officer Henry Phillips, NRoute operations manager Audrey Jones Jackson, Cedars Head Start administrator LeVern W. Powell. Lester R. Smith, who is in the Warren County Jail on sexual battery and felony escape charges, also is a candidate.

Another judicial race on the ballot is for the state Court of Appeals, where Vicksburg attorney Ceola James is challenging incumbent Tyree Irving.