TUPELO • There is a definite benefit to being an incumbent sheriff. Of the seven contested races in northeast Mississippi, the current sheriffs were all re-elected.
Only one sheriff received more than 80 percent of the vote Tuesday night. In Tishomingo and Union counties, the incumbents had to squeak out nail-biters to earn another four year term.
Itawamba County Sheriff Chris Dickinson had a stress-free election night as he rolled up 83 percent of the vote to roll past Democrat Glenn Jenkins 5,867-1,213. The win secured the Republican a fourth term in office.
Both Tishomingo County Sheriff John Daugherty and Union County Sheriff Jimmy Edwards suffered through a long night and extremely close races before pulling out wins.
In Union County, just more than 400 votes was the margin of victory for Edwards in unofficial results. The two-term incumbent Democrat finished the night with 4,478 votes or 53 percent. Republican William “Ashley” Kidd had 4,044.
In Iuka, first term Sheriff Daugherty faced a strong challenge from Republican Mike Kemp. When the dust settled at the end of the night, Daugherty held a slim 3,535-3,291 lead in the unofficial results.
In Calhoun County, Greg Pollan earned a third term in office with 68 percent of the vote to beat out Democrat Roger Westmoreland.
Lee County Sheriff Jim Johnson, who was first elected in 2003, mustered 69 percent of the vote to secure a fifth term in office. He defeated political newcomer Jermandy Jackson.
In Alcorn County, incumbent Independent Ben Caldwell collected 73 percent of the vote (7,452) to defeat Independent Keith Settlemires (2,629) and Libertarian Ricky Gofourth (184).
Republican Tippah County Sheriff Karl Gaillard was re-elected when he defeated Democrat Timmy Robinson 5,189-1,865.
In Benton County, incumbent A.A. McMullen retired. On Tuesday, Democrat Robby Goolsby defeated Independent Bobby Dickerson 1,576-893 to become the sheriff-elect.
In Lafayette County, current Oxford Police Chief Joey East won a landslide 10,927-2,461 over Jeffrey Clinton South. With the win, East will succeed his father, Buddy East, as sheriff. The elder served as sheriff for more than four decades before dying in September 2018.
The other sheriff’s races in the Daily Journal coverage area were uncontested or settled in the primaries.