Runoffs for transportation, Miss. House posts

Published 3:01 pm Thursday, January 13, 2011

Runoffs will decide a transportation commission race in north Mississippi and state House contest in Harrison County.

And there was a winner Tuesday night in a state Senate election in Pontotoc and Lee counties.

Complete but unofficial returns, including absentee ballots, showed Nancy Adams Collins, a registered nurse from Tupelo, winning the six-candidate field with a little over 50 percent of the vote.

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Collins will fill the vacancy created when then-Sen. Alan Nunnelee of Tupelo was elected to the U.S. House in early November.

The special election turnout was hampered by snow and cold weather in north Mississippi. Many counties reported a low turnout as voters decided to stay home rather than risk traveling on roads and bridges icy from snow and sleet that fell Sunday and Monday.

Runoff elections are Feb. 1.

John Caldwell Sr. and Mike Tagert were headed to a runoff for northern district transportation commission.

Only one precinct in Leflore County remained to be counted. Local officials said that would happen Wednesday.

Unofficial returns from Tuesday’s election showed Caldwell, of Nesbit and transportation director for the DeSoto County School District, leading the seven-candidate filed. Tagert, of Starkville and president of the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway Development Council, was second.

The transportation race was to fill a vacancy created by the Nov. 1 death of Commissioner Bill Minor of Holly Springs. The three-member Mississippi Transportation Commission oversees one of the largest agencies in state government, with responsibility over highways, bridges, ports and airports.

In Harrison County, Casey Eure and Jim Atchison were headed to a runoff in House District 116.

Complete but unofficial returns showed Eure, a Biloxi business owner, leading the eight-candidate field. Atchison, owner a Biloxi real estate company, was second.

The winner will fill the vacancy created when then-Rep. Steven Palazzo of Biloxi was elected to the U.S. House in early November.