McDonald tops Arnold in first round

Published 11:44 am Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The race for the Republican nomination in Warren County’s District 1 supervisor’s seat will come down to a runoff after Tuesday’s primary voting, which also showed the incumbent in District 2 sailing in to capture the Democratic nomination to seek a second full term.

On Aug. 23, District 1 incumbent David McDonald and two-time challenger John Arnold will meet in a Republican runoff for the nomination.

The runoff winner will face two independent candidates in the general election on Nov. 8. Arnold lost to McDonald by 17 votes four years ago.

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Unofficial returns this morning showed District 2 Supervisor William Banks Jr. had 88.84 percent of the vote to 11.05 percent for challenger Tommie Rawlings.

In District 1, McDonald, 61, finished with 43.64 percent of the vote to 38.80 percent for Arnold, 57, and 17.56 percent for Joe Channell, 49.

The vote totals did not include absentee and affidavit ballots, which were expected to be tallied today.

The District 1 and 2 races were the only contested primary elections for county supervisor. All three of the county’s other supervisors face opponents in the Nov. 8 general election.

Banks will face independent Deborah “De” Reul, 60, and Republican Trey Smith, 31, a Culkin volunteer firefighter, in November.

“I want to thank God, and thank all my supporters for standing the heat to help me to continue the job we started,” Banks, 60, said. “I will be hitting the streets asking for their support again. We need to finish it in November.”

Rawlings, 48, who also lost to Banks in 2007, said he will not support him in November.

“I am 101 percent against him,” he said. “I may support De Reul in the general election.”

Arnold and McDonald each won two of the four precincts in District 1. Arnold won the Oak Ridge and Bovina precincts, while McDonald took Redwood and Culkin, the county’s largest precinct.

McDonald, who is seeking a fourth term, had 48.15 percent of the vote at Culkin to 33.89 percent for Arnold. The victory at the Culkin box allowed McDonald to take the lead in the race and hold it.

“Culkin came in about as I expected,” McDonald said just before leaving the courthouse. “It will be another three weeks (of campaigning). We’re going to go back and regroup and hit the ground running and be ready for the 23rd. We’re going to run an issues-oriented campaign.”

Arnold won Bovina with 53.79 percent of the vote to 31.49 percent for McDonald.

“I’m going to continue what I’ve been doing,” Arnold said of his plans for the runoff. “It will all depend on the people. I’ll represent the people and I’ll do what they say.”

The winner of the Aug. 23 runoff faces independent candidates Reed Birdsong, 50, county permitting officer, and Culkin Volunteer Fire Department Chief Jerry Briggs, 34.

In the other supervisor elections:

• District 3 Supervisor Charles Selmon, 51, who is seeking a fifth term, was unopposed in the Democratic primary. He faces Vicksburg Warren School District Trustee James Stirgus Jr., 52, an independent.

• District 4 Supervisor Bill Lauderdale, 64, an independent, is challenged in a bid for a sixth term by Democrat Casey Fisher, 44, a minister and retired postal employee, who was unopposed in the primary. Lauderdale won in 2007 by 43 votes after a hand count.

• District 5 Supervisor Richard George, 61, an independent who has been on the board for 16 of the past 20 years, is challenged by J.W. Carroll, 63, a retired electrical contractor; Joe Wooley, 69, who is seeking the District 5 seat for the fourth time; and local farmer Ellis Tillotson, 55. All three challengers are independents.