By Billy Davis
The qualifying deadline for a District 2 supervisors’ race arrives this week, on Friday at 5 p.m.
The Friday deadline comes 60 days before Election Day, which is Tuesday, November 3.
To date, incumbent Vernice Avant and four opponents have qualified for the seat.
In addition to Avant, Clyde Sellers and Paul Henderson of Crenshaw, and Keith Mothershed and Tim Holliday of Sardis, have qualified to run for the seat.
Batesville business owner William Pride has picked up qualifying papers but said he is undecided about entering the supervisors’ race.
District 2 covers much of northwest Panola County, stretching from Crenshaw south to the Curtis community west of Batesville.
Mrs. Avant has held the seat for almost a year since her husband Robert Avant passed away August 8, 2008.
Robert Avant won re-election four times, making him the county’s longest-serving supervisor when he passed away at Baptist Memorial Hospital in Oxford.
Mrs. Avant had maintained a quiet presence on the board until recently, when fire commissioner appointments to the Longtown fire department fueled a dispute between the supervisor and other commissioners.
Members of the fire department are also resisting Mrs. Avant’s stated plans to use the fire station as a community center.
Mrs. Avant also voted to turn down Memphis Stone’s appeal for a gravel mining permit, with supervisors splitting their vote 2-2, making her decision a decisive vote.
On the November 3 ballot, candidates will be listed without party affiliation. The contest will advance to a runoff if no candidate wins at least 50 percent of the vote.
Qualifying papers are picked up and returned to the circuit clerk’s office in Batesville or Sardis.