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Jackson upends Selmon for District 3 Democratic nomination

The voters of District 3 will be getting a new Warren County supervisor.

Newcomer Shawn Jackson defeated incumbent Supervisor Charles Selmon to win the Democratic nomination for county supervisor.

Incomplete and unofficial returns show Jackson received 463, or 58.61 percent of the vote in District 3 to 326 votes, or 41.27 percent, for Selmon. The vote totals do not include absentee or affidavit ballots. Circuit Clerk Jan Daigre said 322 people voted absentee; 103 of those ballots were cast by Democrats.

Jackson faces winner faces independent candidate David Sharp in the Nov.  5 general election.

A total of 796, or 16.2 percent of the voters in District 3, turnout to cast ballots in the runoff. County-wide, 24.03 percent of Warren County’s 25,881 registered voters turned out for the runoff. The total was about 7 percent less than the 32 percent turnout for the first primary election.

“That’s disappointing,” Daigre said. “I’m speechless that people will not get out and vote.”

A random sampling of voters leaving the precinct at Traveler’s Rest Baptist Church in District 3 was split between Selmon and Jackson.

“I think after 20-something years it’s time for a change,” Brenda Smith, who voted for Jackson, said. “I see (Jackson) getting out in the community and talking with residents and seeing their needs and wants not only when it’s voting time, I can see her doing that on a regular basis.”

Martha Thomas, who said she cast her ballot for Selmon, said it was Selmon’s experience that earned her vote.

“I voted for him for his experience and what he has done for the community with the elderly and the youth and provides good enhancements for them,” Thomas said. “Experience really counts.”

Belinda Chambers Okafor, who also voted for Selmon, believed his service over the years to workforce development and helping area youth warranted another term in office.

“For the outstanding job he has done for Warren County, we expect him to do an exuberant job once elected. He has done a great job with youth,” Okafor said. “He has a work program during the summer where he hires students of Vicksburg High School to help them gain experience for the workplace and college.”

Jackson said she still has some work to do to prepare for the general election, but has other plans for Wednesday.

“Honestly, I just want to get some sleep. If I can just get some sleep tomorrow, then I we will start figuring out next step. But I am tired. I am exhausted,” she said.

She said she was “extremely inspired that we had a strong showing for a runoff. We cannot overlook the fact runoffs generally see a sharp decline and for us to have held such steady numbers for the runoff just says that people were just emphatic about change.

“I actually want to celebrate that. It says a lot,” she said.

“I think the biggest takeaway, we defeated a 23-year incumbent and that took a lot more resources, a lot more organization, a lot more energy, because that is not easily done,” Jackson said. “We still have more work to do in November, but this was a big, big win to be able unseat a 23-year incumbent.”

Jackson said she had not talked to Selmon, adding when she does, she wants to thank him for his years of service to Warren County.

“I think the results thus far and in November will be district-by-district, not necessarily incumbent-driven,” she said. “The focus is picking the right person to fit today’s needs of Warren County, whether that be incumbent or newcomer.”

 

Vicksburg Post staff members Tim Reeves and Courtland Wells contributed to this report. 

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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