Dems drop 2 candidates from countywide races

Published 12:02 pm Thursday, March 17, 2011

Two candidates for countywide office have 10 days to challenge local Democrats’ findings they are ineligible to run for office this year because they aren’t registered to vote in Warren County, the local party’s presiding officer said Wednesday.

Geoffrey Greetham, one of seven who filed for circuit clerk, was notified March 3 by the party that his most recent voter registration is in Tennessee, Warren County Democratic Executive Committee chair John Shorter said. Greetham, 57, was director of the Vicksburg Warren E-911 Dispatch Center from 2005 to 2007.

Crystal Fay Jenkins, one of six who filed for tax assessor, last voted here in 2008 and wasn’t retained on current voter rolls, she said when reached.

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A hearing may be requested by each to challenge the findings, Shorter said, adding a $15 filing fee has been refunded in both cases. Calls to phone numbers listed on Greetham’s qualifying paperwork were not returned. Jenkins, who listed a Jackson cell number and a Harrison Street address on initial paperwork, said Wednesday she had “just withdrawn” and didn’t plan to challenge the committee’s finding.

State law mandates a person be a qualified elector of the county where the office is being sought. Independent filers need 50 signatures on a qualifying petition.

No Republican candidates have been dropped from the party primary’s expected ballot, Warren County Republican Executive Committee co-chair Karoline Finch said Wednesday.

Both races feature multiple challengers, as do contests for five of seven posts elected countywide.

Circuit Clerk Shelly Ashley-Palmertree, a Democrat, is opposed by Preston Balthrop on the primary ballot. Bill Jeffers and David Sharp are running as Republicans. Primary winners face independents Jan Hyland Daigre and Robert Terry in the Nov. 8 general election.

For assessor, Angela Brown and Gary Lick are in the Democratic primary while Mike Caruthers is unopposed on the Republican ballot. Winners face independents Ben Luckett and Doug Tanner in the general election. The ultimate winner succeeds four-term incumbent Richard Holland, one of two incumbent countywide officeholders retiring at year’s end.

Seven candidates have filed to succeed retiring Chancery Clerk Dot McGee. Walter Osborne is the lone Democrat in the race, while Dawn Cain Barnes, Donna Farris Hardy and Doug Whittington are vying on the Republican side. Primary winners face independents Alecia Ashley and Gene Thompson.

Tax Collector Antonia Flaggs Jones, a Democrat, faces Republican Patty Mekus in the general election, as neither has a primary opponent.

All five Warren County supervisors face opposition. The District 1 primary field includes incumbent David McDonald and fellow Republicans Joe Channell and John Arnold. The winner faces independents Jerry Briggs and Reed Birdsong. In District 2, incumbent William Banks faces Tommie Rawlings in the Democratic primary and Trey Smith in the Republican primary. The winner faces independent De Reul.

Districts 3, 4 and 5 feature contested general election races. Incumbent Charles Selmon versus independent James Stirgus Jr. in the city-based District 3. District 4 Supervisor Bill Lauderdale faces Democrat Casey Fisher. District 5 Supervisor Richard George is challenged by three independents, J.W. Carroll, Ellis Tillotson and Joe Wooley.

Martin Pace, an independent in the sheriff’s office since 1993, faces a challenge in the general election by retired deputy Bubba Comans, a Democrat.

County Prosecutor Richard Johnson and Coroner Doug Huskey are unopposed for their respective countywide positions. District Attorney Ricky Smith, elected from the Ninth Circuit Court District covering Warren, Sharkey and Issaquena counties, is also unopposed. The county’s three justice court judges, Eddie Woods, James Jefferson Jr. and Jeff Crevitt, and three constables, Glenn McKay, Randy Naylor and John Heggins, are also unchallenged this year.