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Incumbents hold on, while Republicans claim open seats
From Staff Reports
Nearly 45 percent of Greene County’s registered voters chose not to participate in Tuesday’s General Election, leaving the choice of who will represent them in their county and state government up to someone else. Unofficial results show just 55.3 percent of the county’s 7,451 registered voters turned out on Tuesday.
With that said, unofficial results show that several longtime elected officials had to fend off strong challenges to retain their offices. Six-term Sheriff Stanley McLeod narrowly defeated Republican challenger Larry L. Byrd. Big margins in the Leakesville, State Line and Maples precincts carried McLeod over the top after he trailed Byrd through much of the early returns. McLeod finished with a 2,259-to-1,801 margin to retain his post as the county’s top law officer.
Chancery Clerk Michelle ‘Shelley’ Eubanks also had to make up ground after falling behind early to challenger Sarah James, a former election official who ran as an independent. In the end, Eubanks won State Line and Leakesville by a combined 377 votes and prevailed by a comfortable 62-to-38 percent margin county-wide.
In the county supervisors’ races, incumbents G.L. Dearman and Wayne Barrow won re-election by wide margins. Dearman defeated Republican challenger James Radcliff by a 488-to-303 margin to keep his Dist. 1 seat on the board, while Barrow claimed a 534-to-248 victory over Democrat Stuart McLeod to maintain his post as the Dist. 4 Supervisor.
Republican Elton Clark got a big boost from the State Line precinct to defeat Democrat Oliver Walley in the race to replace longtime Dist. 2 Supervisor Morris Hill, who did not seek re-election. Clark finished with a 383-to-353 win over Walley.
In Dist. 3, Wayburn D. ‘Danny’ Smith defeated Democrat Efird Eubanks by a 551-to-372 margin. Smith beat incumbent Jerry Mills in the Republican Primary.
Republican Gary F. Fairley beat Democrat Lonnie A. Roberts II to claim the Dist. 5 seat being vacated by 2-term incumbent Harold Cook. Fairley claimed 452 votes compared to Roberts’ 395.
Longtime political activist Terril Green edged constable Shannon Busby to claim the Post 2 Justice Court Judge’s race. Green, a Republican, earned 925 votes, while Busby, who ran as a Democrat, claimed 885 votes.
Also in Post 2, Republican James W. Wilkins handily won the race for constable over Democrat R.L. Denmark. Wilkins claimed 56.4 percent of the votes in that race.
Several incumbent county officials were unopposed in their reelection bids and will serve another 4-year term. Those included Circuit Clerk Cecelia Bounds, Coroner Ladd Pulliam, County Attorney Lee Turner, Tax Assessor / Collector Mark Holder, Justice Court Judge Post 1 Jeff Byrd and Post 1 Constable Ryan E. Walley.
Dale Goodin, who defeated incumbent Roun McNeal in the Republican Primary, easily won the Dist. 105 seat in the House of Representatives over Democrat Matthew Daves.
Dist. 43 State Senator Dennis DeBar and Dist. 86 State Representative Shane Barnett were each unopposed.
In statewide races, county voters largely supported Republicans, who swept the top government offices. Just before 11 p.m. Tuesday the Associated Press had called most of the state’s top races.
Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves defeated Democratic Attorney General Jim Hood and two candidates who ran low-budget campaigns. Reeves, who carried 72.5 percent of Greene County votes, will succeed Gov. Phil Bryant, who is limited by state law to two terms.
Republican Delbert Hosemann won big in Greene County on his way to defeating Democrat Jay Hughes to become Mississippi’s next Lt. Governor.
Mississippi’s two-term state treasurer won a promotion to attorney general, as Lynn Fitch became the first woman to win the office. Fitch beat Democrat Jennifer Riley Collins.
Hurley Republican Michael Watson won his race to be Mississippi’s next secretary of state, beating former Hattiesburg Mayor and Democrat Johnny DuPree.
Republican David McRae defeated Democrat Addie Lee Green to become state treasurer, while former state representative Andy Gipson won his first full term as Mississippi’s agriculture commissioner, defeating Democrat Rickey Cole. And, Mike Chaney, Mississippi’s Republican insurance commissioner, won a fourth term, defeating Democratic challenger Robert Amos of Byram.
Republican Dane Maxwell beat Democrat Connie Moran for the Southern District seat on the state’s Public Service Commission.
Election officials still have to tally affidavit ballots, but that is not expected to make any difference in the outcomes. Results will be made official some time next week.