Pace files for race; incumbent, challenger sign up for supervisor

Published 12:03 pm Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Another contested Republican primary for supervisor in District 1 was assured Monday with a businessman’s entry into this year’s race.

Joe Channell, 49, filed papers to oppose three-term incumbent David McDonald to represent the northeast Warren County district on the Board of Supervisors. The self-employed petroleum products dealer said concerns over taxes, road maintenance and financing a new jail spurred his first bid for public office.

“I’ve noticed (sheriff’s) deputies haven’t had a pay raise,” Channell said when reached Monday, adding he spent some time as a Madison Parish sheriff’s deputy in the 1980s. “It’s completely unacceptable.”

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Filings Monday also included Board President Richard George and Sheriff Martin Pace, both independents. George, 61, is seeking a fifth, nonconsecutive term to his seat in District 5, which covers the southeastern part of the county.

John W. “J.W.” Carroll, an independent, entered the District 5 race earlier this month.

Pace, 52, was first elected in 1996 and was unopposed four years ago.

Qualifying ends March 1 for countywide and district races. Party primaries are Aug. 2, and the general election is Nov. 8.

Channell’s entry assures McDonald, 61, a former transmission shop operator, his fourth consecutive primary battle.

McDonald won the seat on his first attempt at elective office in 1999 by topping five candidates in the general election, with 55 percent. In 2003, he faced one primary challenger and bested four opponents in the general with about 60 percent. Four years ago, he survived a primary challenge by 17 votes out of 1,979 cast — triggering a manual recount of all votes that lasted into the wee hours of the following morning — before having an easier time in the general election, where he won with 52.7 percent.

Late in 2010, McDonald flirted with a run to succeed retiring incumbent chancery clerk Dot McGee. He reversed course this month, filing qualifying papers for his supervisor seat.

The incumbent heads up a committee of county officials, judges, court clerks and others formed to study the size and scope of a new jail and come up with ways to streamline the local legal system.

Supervisors William Banks, Charles Selmon and Bill Lauderdale have filed for re-election and have drawn no challengers to date. City Clerk Walter Osborne, a Democrat, and retired health worker Donna Hardy, a Republican, have filed to run for the chancery clerk position.

Races for governor and lieutenant governor lead a full slate of statewide and legislative contests atop this year’s ballot.