Daigre, Donohue join Peltz in circuit clerk race

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 16, 2014

Two candidates entered the race for circuit clerk in Warren County, including the second-place finisher from the last time voters chose a clerk. 

Jan Hyland Daigre filed paperwork in the circuit clerk’s office late Friday for the Nov. 4 special election for the job she ran for in 2011. The office was declared vacant May 19 by county supervisors amid a continuing financial scandal involving former clerk Shelly Ashley-Palmertree.

Daigre, 52, who represented District 4 on the Vicksburg Warren School District Board of Trustees from 2002-08, was among four people interviewed by county supervisors the next day as they searched for an interim clerk. Greg Peltz, a former retail manager, was appointed from that process, on a 4-1 vote. A day later, Daigre said she was done with politics. On Friday, she said she went inside the numbers of her 2011 campaign, which netted her 32 percent of the vote versus Palmertree’s 49 percent, and changed her mind.

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“I pulled my figures out from the last race,” she said by phone. “I had about 4,800 votes and I decided to let that motivate me on a positive note.”

Qualifying ends Sept. 5 in the circuit clerk’s race and in a special election for central district constable. Peltz qualified for the clerk’s race within days after qualifying began Aug. 5. A third candidate in the race filed Friday, Robert Donohue IV, an employee of Fred’s Super Dollar. A call to Donohue was not returned late Friday.

In Mississippi, circuit and chancery clerks are the highest-paying jobs in county government. Base salaries for each are capped at $90,000 by the Legislature.

State law mandates no specific prerequisites to be circuit clerk, such as basic accounting or a law degree. However, it stipulates no clerk elected is to carry out any duties or take the oath of office until they complete 50 hours of training and education courses conducted by the Mississippi Judicial College of the University of Mississippi Law Center.

In January, supervisors appointed Vicksburg police investigator Troy Kimble to the constable’s position in the central district after former constable and fellow officer Randy Naylor died Nov. 7. Constables primarily serve justice court and other legal papers, but also have general law-enforcement powers. They are paid $35 for each paper served.

Warren County’s northern and southern district constables are Glenn McKay and John Heggins, respectively. In late November, the Secretary of State’s Office told county election officials the race is to be held under district lines adopted in 2012 reflecting population changes during the 2010 census. The central district picked up areas in Chickasaw, Kings and Ford subdivisions in the decennial shift.

The winner in each race will face voters again in 2015 in the regular state/county election cycle.