Ballot set: 3 of 5 on election panel facing opposition

Published 12:09 pm Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Three of five incumbents on the Warren County Election Commission will have opposition in this fall’s elections.

In District 5, Gordon Cordes and Robert Croisdale filed petitions with the Chancery Clerk’s Office by Monday’s deadline to represent the southeast section of the county on the five-member commission.

Cordes, 76, a retired engineer, ran unsuccessfully for the seat in 2009. Croisdale, 66, works as an independent contractor in the auto parts supply industry. From 2002 to 2006, he was general manager at the CalsonicKansei plant at Ceres industrial park.

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Both oppose incumbent commissioner Lonnie Wooley, 72, who defeated Cordes in a special election in 2009.

The commission enrolls voters, assigns polling places, certifies non-party candidates, conducts all general and special elections and certifies results to the Secretary of State’s Office. Members of the panel are elected every four years during the presidential election cycle.

In District 1, incumbent Petesy Smith and challenger Jan Whatley filed petitions on Friday. Smith, 67, a former county supervisor, won the seat unopposed in 2008. Whatley, 73, is a poll manager at Culkin precinct, the county’s largest voting division.

In District 4, incumbent John Rundell, 84, a former county purchasing agent, seeks a third term against Sara Carlson Dionne, 56, a poll worker in the district.

District 2 Commissioner Retha Summers and District 3 Commissioner Elva Smith-Tolliver are unopposed.

Four district-level races will appear on the Nov. 6 general ballot. Others include the District 2 seat on the Vicksburg Warren School District Board of Trustees, held now by Zelmarine Murphy, and a position on the state Court of Appeals. For school board, the period begins Aug. 8 and ends Sept. 7.

Incumbent appellate judge Ermea J. Russell has drawn one challenger, Vicksburg attorney Ceola James. The judgeship covers appellate District 2, Place 2.