Residents are apathetic in supporting candidatesBy PAT BROWN,
The election last week displayed a pretty weak voter turn-out. According to the stats, only about 32 percent of the registered voters in Simpson County bothered to go to the polls.
The largest votes were for the two state offices of governor and attorney general.
The largest vote getter for the election was in the governor’s race with Reeves getting 2,698 votes and Waller 1,974. This may end up being very significant in the November General Election. Why? If Waller votes were anti-Reeves votes this time, those voters may support Jim Hood in November. So the next governor of Mississippi may be Democrat Jim Hood.
Finch won the primary for attorney general over Taggart statewide but not in Simpson County.
Simpson County had one upset with incumbent Curtis Skiffer
being unseated by Mitchell Chatman in District 1 by 12 votes. That race was decided by 678 people. Using the premise that each voting district has the same size population, that means there are approximately 3,400 people in each district.
The supervisor’s race for District 2 was decided by slightly less than a 100 vote difference with Danny Craft going back in over political newcomer Allen Maddox, In this district 1,039 votes were cast.
The largest turnout was in District 5 in which incumbent Randy Moore faced Dean Barnard. Of the 1,470 votes cast, Moore took 741 and Barnard 728. Again, this is with close to 3,400 people registered to vote in the district.
Locally, there will be some closely watched races in November. The sheriff’s race pits Paul Mullins against Darrell Walker. We are predicting a close race for circuit clerk with Terence Norwood facing Witt Fortenberry. These are the races to watch.
The supervisor’s race in District 4 will have Hardy Williams facing Donnie Welch.
A wild card surfaced last week with the possibility of alcohol sales being voted on in the county. If this issue gets placed on the ballot in November it could have a huge impact on the number of people who turn out for the General Election. How that would play out is anybody’s guess. But it would for sure have an impact on other races on the ballot. That is one we will have to wait and see about.
Wednesday morning created a interesting twist when we found that state statutes require a special election to be called for within 60 days of receipt of a petition to place an issue on a ballot. The November election is a few days outside that 60-day time frame.
Another statute says that for an item to be placed on the regular ballot of a scheduled election, a 60-day notice must be given.
Wednesday morning we spoke with Brien Hubbard, who is presenting the petition supporting alcohol sales in the county to the board. He says that he will submit it on September 3 to be placed on the ballot for the November General Election. He is consulting with the board attorney for protocol.
Getting the alcohol issue on this ballot would avoid having to hold a costly special election. From the reading of the law, the Board of Supervisors has an obligation to schedule the election, and including it with an existing election is the most economical way to present the issue for a vote.