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Candidate filings apparently final in PRC; might be up in air in other counties

Three-term incumbent Circuit Court Clerk Vickie P. Hariel faces two opponents — County Administrator Adrain Lumpkin, Jr., and former sheriff’s department investigator James Buie — as the candidate filing deadline for local offices ended on Tuesday.

The deadline for filing for statewide offices and local county races was March 1, the deadline for filing for legislative races is June 1, the first primary is Aug. 2, and the General Election is Nov. 8.

Some surprises were that District Five Supervisor Sandy Kane Smith faces former Picayune mayor Woody Spiers and six other GOP challengers in the District Five supervisor’s race. The District Five race will be decided in the Republican primaries beginning with the first primary on Aug. 2. No Democrats filed in the District Five race.

In addition, Pearl River County School Superintendent Dennis E. Penton did not file to run for re-election, leaving Republicans Alan Lumpkin and PRC Special Education Director, Pam McKean Frierson facing off for that top post in the county school district.

There were rumors all the way up to the filing deadline on March 1 that Penton would and would not run.

Hariel is seeking her fourth term. She first occupied the circuit court clerk’s office in 2000, taking over from former Circuit Court Clerk Peggy Staten.

Staten, after 20 years in the post, retired in 1999. She had worked under legendary Circuit Court Clerk J. Monroe Spiers, who served 36 years in office. Hariel, who had served under both Staten and Spiers, ran for and won the office in the 1999 election and took the oath of office in 2000.

Staten is still retired, and lives in the Steep Hollow community. Spiers is deceased.

Hariel has run as a Democrat during her last three racess, but filed this time as a Republican. All three candidates in the circuit court race filed as a Republican.

Hariel also filed on Feb. 23, her mother’s birthday. Gloria Carey, who lives in Poplarville, is 70.

The vast majority of candidates filed as Republican and a few as Democrat and Independent. No Libertarians filed for county office, although that party had said they were looking at entering candidates into local races.

So far it is not clear how redistricting will affect Pearl River County’s election process. Officials have said nothing about what they plan to do, and the county so far has not been named in a suit seeking to extend the filing deadline, although a suit by the NAACP has been filed against other counties, asking for additional time for candidates to file because of redistricting required by Census data.

Counties face redrawing district lines based on new census figures just released.

The State Legislature, according to Associated Press reports, came under criticism for not moving back the local filing deadline from March 1, as they did for deadlines in legislative races. Legislators voted to move back the filing deadline for House and Senate candidates to June 1.

NAACP attorney Carroll Rhodes blasted the State Legislature for not moving back filing deadlines for local races in the counties.

“It’s sad it had to come to this because the Legislature didn’t do the same favor for supervisors and other officials that they did for themselves. They pushed their qualifying deadlines back, but didn’t give anyone else the same courtesy,” the Associated Press quoted Carroll as saying.

However, Senate Elections Committee Chairman Terry Burton, R-Newton, said on Tuesday the redrawing of supervisor districts is a local issue and the Legislature has nothing to do with it.

“Many counties have gone out on their own and sought approval to move the qualifying deadline back if they felt the need for relief. It is not a matter for the Legislature,” said Burton.

NAACP officials have filed lawsuits on Monday involving Adams, Amite, Claiborne, Copiah, DeSoto, Panola, Pike, Simpson, Tallahatchie, Tunica, Warren, Webster and Winston. Rhodes said there could be more counties named in a later suit.

In a separate lawsuit, the Madison County Board of Supervisors has sued the Madison County circuit clerk and the local GOP and Democratic executive committees to extend the qualifying deadline for that county’s elections.

Here is the final list of local candidates who had filed by 5 p.m. on March 1, the deadline in Pearl River County:

SHERIFF:

Incumbent David Allison (R), Joe Smith (R) and Frank Vaccrella (Ind). Smith is the North District Constable and is not running in that race. Vaccrella is a former chief deputy in the sheriff’s department.

CHANCERY CLERK:

Incumbent David Earl Johnson (R).

CIRCUIT CLERK:

 James Buie (R), incumbent Vickie P. Hariel (R) and Adrain Lumpkin, Jr. (R).

TAX COLLECTOR-ASSESSOR:

Incumbent Gary Beech (R) and Andy Williams (R).  

CORONOR:

Charles Cuevas (R) and incumbent Derek Turnage (R).

COUNTY PROSECUTING ATTORNEY:

Laurie J. Hutchings (R), Cheryl D. Johnson (R) and incumbent Aaron Russell, Jr. (R).

JUSTICE COURT JUDGE NORTH DISTRICT:

Incumbent Judge James Hal Breland (R), Yvette Fabre Fairchild (R), Herbert ‘Bert’ Gentry II (R) and  Don Lee (Ind).

JUSTICE COURT JUDGE EAST DISTRICT:

Ray M. Bennett (R), Donald D. Fail (R), James L. ‘Jim’ Gray (Ind),  Sheila Palmer Herrin (R), Gina Lee (R) and Farron Moeller (R). Incumbent Nell Cowart did not file for re-election.

JUSTICE COURT JUDGE WEST DISTRICT:

Incumbent John Mark Mitchell (R).

SUPERVISOR DISTRICT 1:

Jimmy Buckley (D), Vernon Culpepper (R), incumbent Anthony Hales, Sr. (D), Dallas A. Hook (R) and Fornea Spiers (R).

SUPERVISOR DISTRICT 2:

Clark Bryan (R), David Bullen (R), incumbent Joyce Culpepper(R), Jennifer Harvey (R), David E. Johnson (R) and Daryl Smith (R).

SUPERVISOR DISTRICT 3:

Dennis W. Dedeaux (R), P. Kyle Dossett (R), Robert Gordon Ladner, Jr. (R), Todd Lewis (R), Kendall McClinton (R), Tony Pervel (R), Kelton Smith (R), Bobby Strahan (R) and Irvin Templet (R). Incumbent District Three Supervisor Hudson Holliday chose not to run for re-election. He is a candidate for governor. The District Three field is the largest race with nine candidates.

SUPERVISOR DISTRICT 4:

Frank N. Egger (D), incumbent J. Patrick Lee (R) and Brian K. Stockstill (R).

SUPERVISOR DISTRICT 5:

Mark Franklin (R), Glennis ‘Glen’ Neal, Jr. (R), Keith Seal (R), incumbent Sandy Kane Smith (R), Thomas ‘Snuffy’ Spiers (R), Woody Spiers (R), Byron Stockstill (R) and Steve Strausbaugh (R).

CONSTABLE WEST DISTRICT:

Reginald ‘Reggie’ Smith (D) and Incumbent Charles ‘Bogie’ Stockstill (R).

CONSTABLE NORTH DISTRICT:

Harlan Amacker (R), Rossie Creel (R), Danny Joe Slade (R) and Ronnie Walters (R). Incumbent Joe Smith is running for sheriff and is not on the ballot in this race.

CONSTABLE EAST DISTRICT:

Justin Faia (R) and Danny E. Lowery (R).

COUNTY SUPT. OF EDUCATION:

Pam McKean Frierson (R) and Alan Lumpkin (R). Penton is not seeking re-election.