Candidate filings continue to trickle in as deadline looms

by Sean Dunlap

With an official filing deadline of 5 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 1, a handful of Franklin County residents seeking elected office have officially announced they will appear on the local ballots in the months to come.

As of 8:30 a.m., on Tuesday, Jan. 31, three people had formally registered during the past week, Circuit Clerk Warren Walker, who oversees the local election process, reported.

Candidates filing late Tuesday or Wednesday prior to the deadline will appear in the Thursday, Feb. 9 edition of The Franklin Advocate.

Two area residents — both qualifying as independents — will seek two supervisors posts in the county. They include:

• Gary Cameron, who will challenge District 1 incumbent Ronald Hunt, who will run as a Democrat.

• Chad Smith will face off against District 2 incumbent Henry “Eddie” Stebbins, who is running as a Republican.

The lone supervisor’s race that remained unopposed as of Tuesday morning was the District 4 seat currently held by Pat Larkin, who qualified for re-election as a Republican.

The District 3 supervisor’s race includes three candidates — incumbent Mike M. “Dirt” Hunt and Eric Gant, who are both running as Democrats, and Lynn Oglesby, who is running for the seat on the Republican ticket.

In District 5, a four-way Republican supervisor’s race is shaping up between incument Jimmie “Bodi” Bass and challengers Doug Berryhill, Eddie Foster and Norris “Jack” Jordan.

The battle for Franklin County Tax Assessor-Collector remained at three candidates as incumbent Talina King Matthews and Luther “Luke” Bolin IV will seek the Democratic nomination for that post.

Julie Buckels is seeking the tax assessor-collection position as a Republican.

Another contested race is that of sheriff with incumbent Tom Tindle and challenger Joseph Cothren, both running as Republicans, seeking that office.

Several offices remained unopposed on Tuesday:

• Chancery Clerk Jill Jordan Gilbert.

• Walker, who presently serves as circuit clerk.

• Justice Court Judges Rickey Van O’Quinn and Larry Wallace, representing Place 1 and Place 2, respectively.

• Coroner Billy P. Gill.

• Constables Charles E. Brown of Place 1 and Dewayne Whetstone of Place 2.

Additionally, Hilda Peeler has announced her bid for a full term as the District 2 election commissioner.

Peeler was elected to that office in November’s general election to fill out a term of office previously held by Elizabeth Lazarus and on an interim basis by Frances Elizabeth Rushing.

On Tuesday morning, the District 4 election commission seat, which will also be decided this year, had yet to have a candidate formally submit his or her paperwork to the circuit clerk.

Election commission seats are chosen on a non-partisan basis, according to Walker.

In regional election news, Tim Cotten will seek the district attorney’s office for the Mississippi Sixth Circuit District, which includes Franklin, Adams, Amite and Wilkinson counties.

He will challenge the incumbent DA, Shameca Collins.

Party primaries will be held Tuesday, Aug. 8 with any runoff races set for Tuesday, Aug. 29.

The general election is planned for Tuesday, Nov. 7.

The deadline for new voters to register to cast a ballot in the party primaries will be 5 p.m., Monday, July 10 and for primary runoffs will be 5 p.m., Monday, July 31.

The general election voter registration deadline is 5 p.m., Monday, Oct. 9 with all mail-in sign-ups required to be postmarked by Tuesday, Oct. 10.

Specific queries about voter registration and voting precinct locations can be directed to Walker by calling his office at 601-384-2320.