City accountant joins slate seeking chancery position

Published 12:03 pm Thursday, February 17, 2011

The list of chancery clerk candidates grew again Wednesday when a second city employee became the fifth contender to file.

City Accounting Director Doug Whittington filed as a Republican for what has quickly become the most in-demand of the seven countywide offices in this year’s election cycle. He joins retired health care industry administrator Donna Farris Hardy in the GOP primary for the office. City Clerk Walter Osborne, a Democrat, is in the race, as are independents Alecia Ashley and Gene Thompson. Incumbent Dot McGee is retiring at year’s end after three terms.

Qualifying ends March 1 for statewide and local races and June 1 for legislative posts. Party primaries are Aug. 2 and the general election is Nov. 8.

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

Whittington, 37, a graduate of Warren Central High School and holder of an accounting degree from the University of Alabama, succeeded Paul Rogers as the city’s financial manager in 2009 after Rogers retired after 30 years with the city. Before the city hired him to the accounting staff in 2008, Whittington worked for five years as an accountant and governmental auditor for May and Company.

Whittington said his qualifications make him “a prime candidate.”

“I just feel like now’s my time,” Whittington said, adding he’s been assured by individual members of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen he’ll stay on as accounting director. Osborne’s city clerk position, unlike that of the accounting head, is one of five positions noted in the city charter that are appointed by the city board each term. Osborne couldn’t be reached this morning.

Chancery clerks maintain all records for chancery courts and boards of supervisors in the state. Statutory duties include recording board minutes, preparing the claims docket and county payroll and recording and storing deeds, land records and documents received from the court. The annual base salary is $90,000.

In Warren County, voters will decide races in eight statewide races and 24 district-level and countywide offices.

Voters in November also will decide the fate of three initiatives placed on the ballot by separate petitions — the definition of a person, voter identification and eminent domain.

Three of five county supervisors have drawn challengers, as has Sheriff Martin Pace. Qualifying ends March 1 for statewide and local races and June 1 for legislative posts.

District 1 Supervisor David McDonald faces a primary challenge from businessman Joe Channell. District 2 Supervisor William Banks, a Democrat, has picked up a primary opponent in city zoning board member Tommie Rawlings, who lost to Banks four years ago.

District 5 Supervisor Richard George has two opponents, J.W. Carroll and Ellis Tillotson. All three are independents.

Supervisors Charles Selmon in District 3 and Bill Lauderdale in District 4 have qualified and had drawn no challengers through Wednesday.

Pace, an independent, faces opposition from former deputy Bubba Comans, who filed as a Democrat.