Counting complete, candidates widen leads in primary contests

Published 12:01 pm Friday, August 12, 2011

Winners at the polls in two Republican primary races last Tuesday widened their leads once absentee and affidavit ballots were counted, completed tallies show.

Donna Farris Hardy, a retired health care administrator, picked up 131 more votes to Vicksburg City Accountant Doug Whittington’s 99 in tabulations done after last Tuesday’s primary for chancery clerk. It brought Hardy’s total to 2,491 and Whittington’s to 2,402. Dawn Cain Barnes, a dental hygienist, picked up 7 more and finished with 410 votes.

Hardy and Whittington face each other in the Aug. 23 runoff, which also features the contested county supervisor race in District 1 between incumbent David McDonald and John Arnold, a real estate broker, and, on the statewide level, the Democratic primary runoff for governor and the GOP runoff for state treasurer.

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The GOP nominee for chancery clerk faces City Clerk Walter Osborne, a Democrat, and independents Alecia Ashley and Gene Thompson. The nominee for supervisor in District 1 faces independents Jerry Briggs and Reed Birdsong.

McDonald picked up 47 absentees and affidavits to finish with 877 votes to 770 for Arnold, who received 32 additional paper votes and 770 overall. Third-place finisher Joe Channell received 25 more, to total 359.

Absentee ballots were accepted through Saturday before the primary. In general, affidavit ballots are filled out when addresses that don’t appear in poll books must be verified. Those who voted in the primary must stick with the same party’s ballot in the runoff. In all, 9,211 ballots were cast in Tuesday’s primary, or about 30 percent of the number on the county’s voter roll.

Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny Dupree won Warren County’s Democratic primary vote for governor with 2,408 votes, or nearly 66 percent, to 913 votes for Bill Luckett, a Clarksdale businessman. William Compton and Guy Dale Shaw had 262 and 68 votes, respectively. The runoff victor faces the Republican nominee, Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant, in the Nov. 8 general election.

For treasurer, GOP voters statewide will choose between Lynn Fitch, the state personnel board director, and state Sen. Lee Yancey, of Brandon. The winner faces Ocean Springs Mayor Connie Moran in November.

State Treasurer Tate Reeves won the GOP primary for lieutenant governor and will likely win the office, as no Democrat filed to run. Ditto for Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, who won the party’s primary. State Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Brookhaven, faces Democrat Joel Gill in November for commissioner of agriculture and commerce.

In legislative races, state Rep. George Flaggs, D-Vicksburg, faces Republican Sam Smith in Vicksburg-based District 55. State Rep. Philip Gunn, R-Clinton, who represents parts of northeast Warren County, faces Democrat Jim Culberson.

Local races in November include:

• Circuit clerk, where incumbent Shelly Ashley-Palmertree, a Democrat, faces Republican David Sharp and independents Jan Hyland Daigre and Robert Terry.

• Sheriff, where incumbent Martin Pace, an independent, faces Democrat Bubba Comans.

• Tax Assessor, where Democrat Angela Brown faces Republican Mike Caruthers and independents Ben Luckett and Doug Tanner.

• Tax Collector, where incumbent Antonia Flaggs Jones, a Democrat, faces Republican Patty Mekus.

• District 2 Supervisor, where incumbent William Banks, a Democrat, faces Republican Trey Smith and independent De Reul.

• District 3 Supervisor, where incumbent Charles Selmon, a Democrat, faces independent James Stirgus Jr.

• District 4 Supervisor, where incumbent Bill Lauderdale, an independent, faces Democrat Casey Fisher.

• District 5 Supervisor, where incumbent Richard George, an independent, faces J.W. Carroll, Joe Wooley and Ellis Tillotson, also independents.