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County splits over McDaniel, Hyde-Smith in Senate race
From Staff Reports
As expected, a higher number of voters turned out for Tuesday’s mid-term election than has been typical in recent history. In all, 52.3 percent of the county’s 7,197 registered voters went to their polling places Tuesday or voted by absentee ballot.
Greene County Circuit Clerk Cecelia Bounds said she expected a strong turnout based on brisk absentee voting through this past Saturday.
“It is pretty impressive for this type of election to have this type of turnout,” Bounds said. “Voting numbers were strong across the county.”
Also as anticipated, county voters overwhelmingly supported Republican candidates in the two U.S. Senate and one House of Representatives races on the ticket.
In the race to fill the unexpired term of former Senator Thad Cochran, unofficial results showed county voters narrowly chose Chris McDaniel over current senator Cindy Hyde-Smith, by a 1,423-to-1,418 margin. But, Hyde-Smith, who was appointed to the post by Gov. Phil Bryant after Cochran retired, will be the one to square off against Democrat Mike Espy in a runoff election on Nov. 27. That’s because McDaniel conceded just before 10 p.m. after results statewide were showing him a distant third in the 4-person race.
County voters also overwhelmingly supported Senator Roger Wicker in his reelection bid. Wicker handily defeated his closest challenger, Democrat state legislator David Baria in the county and had been declared the winner statewide by early evening.
Two county races of major interests involved seats on the county board of education. In Dist. Three, voters narrowly chose Dorothy Clark to replace outgoing school board member Keith Elmore, who did not seek reelection. Clark pulled 312 votes to edge Jennifer Walley (296) and Hayden West (248). While Clark earned just 36.45 percent of the overall vote total, she will claim the seat as there are no runoffs in the board of education races.
On the other end of the county, Dist. Four school board incumbent Shannon Denmark won reelection over challenger Brandy Benjamin-Sims. Denmark claimed 474 votes (67.43 percent), compared to 229 for Benjamin-Sims.
Two other key races on the ticket involved Chancery Court Judge positions as two posts were open due to retirements of judges. In the battle for Place 2, Tanya Hasbrouck and Ashlee Cole Trehern appear destined for a runoff in that 4-person race. Unofficial results show Hasbrouck was the clear leader district-wide, while Trehern held a narrow, 54-vote edge over Gary L. Roberts for a spot in the runoff. In Greene County, Roberts led the ticket with 951 votes, compared to 859 for for Trehern, 707 for Hasbrouck and 654 for Robert Briggs.
Lucedale attorney Mark Maples claimed the race for Chancery Court, Place 3. Maples claimed 57 percent of the vote over Stacie E. Zorn in the race with 100 percent of the precincts in George, Jackson and Greene counties reporting.
Incumbent Circuit Court Judge Dale Harkey easily won reelection for Place 3 in the 19th Judicial District, claiming over 70 percent of the votes in Greene County and district-wide over challenger Jeff Grant Pierce.
Election officials were to begin certifying the election results Wednesday morning. Look for more reports on all the races at www.greenecountyheraldonline.com and in next week’s print edition of the Herald.