Sumrall captures Democratic primary runoff for auditor

Published 8:14 pm Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Mount Olive accountant Mike Sumrall pulled votes from rural areas across Mississippi on Tuesday night to win the Democratic nomination for state auditor over Todd Brand.

Sumrall will face Republican Stacey Pickering, a state senator from Laurel, in the Nov. 6 general election.

Sumrall won with 53 percent of the vote in unofficial returns over Brand.

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In the central district Public Service Commission race, Lynn Posey, a state senator from Union Church, defeated Addie Green in the Democratic runoff. Posey had 59 percent of the vote in the unofficial tabulation.

Posey will face Republican Charles Barbour, Reform Party candidate Lee Dilworth and independent Kevin Moses in the general election. Incumbent Nielsen Cochran, a Republican, did not seek re-election.

Both Sumrall and Brand were running for public office for the first time.

Sumrall has 28 years of experience working for state and local government, including 23 years in the state auditor’s office. Among other jobs, he has served as business manager for Pike County schools.

Brand has a doctorate in community college leadership and is the chairman of the Fine Arts and Communication Division at Meridian Community College.

Sumrall campaigned on increasing training for the auditor’s staff and he wants to expand the use of “paperless” audits, which can be faster and more efficient.

The auditor’s job is open this year because the GOP’s Phil Bryant, who has held the job since 1996, is running for lieutenant governor.

In other runoffs:

— House District 19, in parts of Itawamba, Lee and Tishomingo counties: Mark Duvall won the Democratic runoff over Brandon Cherry in official returns. Duvall will face Republican Randy Boyd in November. Incumbent Jamie Franks, D-Mooreville, did not seek re-election; he’s running for lieutenant governor.

— House District 77, in parts of Rankin, Simpson and Smith counties: Republican challenger Andy Gipson defeated incumbent Clint Rotenberry in unofficial returns. Gipson will face Democrat Dale Berry and Green Party candidate Lynn McLean in November.

— House District 84, in parts of Clarke, Jasper, Lauderdale and Newton counties: David Campbell defeated C.D. Smith in the Republican runoff in unofficial returns. Campbell will face Democrat William “Billy” G. Lee and independent Cecil “Matt” Hemphill in November. Incumbent Eric Robinson, R-Quitman, did not run this year.

— House District 91, in parts of Copiah, Covington, Jefferson Davis, Lawrence and Simpson counties: Bob Evans defeated incumbent Joey Hudson in the Democratic runoff. The winner will be unopposed in November.

— House District 99, in parts of Lamar, Marion, Pike and Walthall counties: Winston Fortenberry defeated Ryan Bruhl in the Democratic runoff according to unofficial returns. Fortenberry will face Republican Bill Pigott in November.

— House District 104, in parts of Forrest and Lamar counties. Complete, but unofficial returns showed Larry Byrd with a 28-vote lead over Chad King in the Republican runoff. The winner will be unopposed in November. Incumbent Mike Lott, R-Petal, did not seek re-election.

— Senate District 2, in all of Benton and Marshall counties and part of Tippah County: Bill Stone defeated Henry Boyd Jr. in the Democratic runoff. Stone will face Republican incumbent Ralph Doxey in November.

— Senate District 10, in all of Panola County and part of Tate County: Democratic incumbent Nolan Mettetal defeated Mona Pittman. Mettetal will face Republican Shelly Turner in November.

— Senate District 20, in parts of Madison and Rankin counties: Lee Yancey held a 109-vote lead over Charles Porter in the Republican runoff according to complete, but unofficial returns. The winner will be unopposed in November. Incumbent Charlie Ross, R-Brandon, did not seek re-election; he was defeated in the Aug. 7 GOP primary for lieutenant governor.