Local voters will return to the polls next week to determine the future of Itawamba County’s … and the state’s … leadership.
Polls will be open for voting in the statewide general election next Tuesday, Nov. 5, from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. Voters will be required to show a photo ID before casting their ballots. The local circuit clerk’s office will be open from 8 a.m. until noon Saturday, Nov. 2, to accommodate absentee voting.
General election voters will find they’ll have no impact on most local races. Only four of the 16 county races are contested. The others were either decided during the August primaries or the people holding those offices ran unopposed.
The sheriff’s race will likely be the most-watched of the contested county races. Incumbent Chris Dickinson, running as a Republican for a third term in office, will face Democratic nominee Glenn E. Jenkins. Both candidates ran unopposed in the primaries.
Three of the supervisors races will be decided next Tuesday.
In 1st District, voters will decide between Democrat Darrell Ray or Republican Donnie Wood. Longtime supervisor Charles Horn currently holds the seat. He decided against seeking reelection this year.
In 3rd District, the Democratic nominee, Philip F. Blackmon will face Republican Terry Moore. The winner will replace Steve Moore, who decided against seeking reelection.
In 5th District, Democrat Marie Johnson will vie against Republican Bill Sheffield. The seat is currently held by first-term candidate Steve Johnson, who lost his bid for re-election in the primary.
Uncontested county races on the ballot include Michelle Jarrell Clouse for chancery clerk; Carol Gates for circuit clerk; Shelia Summerford for coroner; Michael P. “Chip” Mills Jr. for county attorney; Tami Montgomery Beane for tax assessor; Debbie Ann Johnson for tax collector; Cecil “Ike” Johnson Jr. for 2nd District Supervisor; Eric “Tiny” Hughes for 4th District Supervisor; Harold Holcomb for east side justice court judge; John Bishop for west side justice court judge; Terry Johnson for east side constable; and Doug Lesley for west side constable. All are incumbents, and all are running as Republicans.
Voters will decide the outcomes for two district races, next Tuesday. Democrat Steve Eaton and Republican Daniel H. Sparks are both vying for the 5th District seat on the Mississippi Senate. Whoever wins will replace J.P. Wilemon, who is retiring after holding the seat since 2004.
Republican John Caldwell and Democrat Joe T. “Joey” Grist are both hoping to be the next Northern District transportation commissioner. The winner will replace Mike Tagert, who won the position during a 2015 special election. Tagert didn’t seek reelection this year.
Uncontested district race candidates featured on the ballot include Brandon Presley for Northern District public service commissioner; John Weddle for district attorney, District 1; Chad McMahan for State Senate, 6th District; Hob Bryan, State Senate, 7th District; Randy P. Boyd for House of Representatives, District 19; Chris Brown, House of Representatives, District 20; and Donnie Bell, House of Representatives, District 21.
The governor’s race tops the list of statewide races featured on next week’s ballot. Top candidates include Democrat Jim Hood, Mississippi’s attorney general, and current lieutenant governor Tate Reeves, Republican. Constitution Party candidate Bob Hickingbottom and independent David R. Singletary are also hoping to win over voters.
In the race to become the next lieutenant governor, Republican Delbert Hosemann is facing Democrat Jay Hughes.
Other contested statewide races include secretary of state, between Democrat Johnny Dupree and Republican Michael Watson; attorney general, between Democrat Jennifer Riley Collins and Republican Lynn Fitch; treasurer, between Addie Lee Green, Democrat, and David McRae, Republican; commissioner of commerce and agriculture, between Democrat Rickey L. Cole and Republican Andy Gipson; and commissioner of insurace, between Robert E. Amos, Democrat, and Mike Chaney, Republican.
Voters will only see a single uncontested statewide race on their ballots: Republican Shad White secured his place as the state auditor during the August primaries by running unopposed.