Sixth candidate enters race for chancery clerk

Published 12:12 am Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A third Republican and the sixth candidate overall has entered the chancery clerk’s race.

Dawn Cain Barnes, a dental hygienist, joins retired health care industry administrator Donna Farris Hardy and City Accounting Director Doug Whittington in the Aug. 2 primary. So far, City Clerk Walter Osborne is the lone Democrat in the race. Two independents, Alecia Ashley, a legal assistant, and Gene Thompson, a retired forester, have also qualified. Qualifying ends March 1 for statewide and local races and June 1 for legislative races.

Barnes, 45, has worked at Dr. Brent Thomas’ office more than 20 years. She chalked up her interest in the race to a long friendship with incumbent Dot McGee, who is retiring at year’s end.

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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.

Whittington and Osborne have expressed confidence they’d be retained in their current positions with the City of Vicksburg if they don’t win the chancery race.

In Warren County, voters will decide winners 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. In the Legislature, state Rep. Alex Monsour and state Sen. Briggs Hopson III, both Republicans, have qualified for re-election. State Rep. George Flaggs, D-Vicksburg, has not filed officially but is expected to seek a seventh term.

District 1 Supervisor David McDonald faces a primary challenge from businessman Joe Channell. Reed Birdsong, the county’s permitting inspector, entered the race as an independent. 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, a retired electrician, and Ellis Tillotson, a local farmer. All three are independents.

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

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