County Races

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Four county races get new candidates

By Billy Davis and Rupert Howell

Four more candidates have qualified for Panola County supervisor posts in the upcoming August 2 Primary and November 8 General Election.

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In District 1, former road department employee David Arnold qualified as a Democrat to challenge Supervisor James Birge, making him the only challenger in that race.

In District 3, two new opponents have qualified to run. Robert “B.B.” Lee qualified to run in the Democratic Primary and former candidate Monty Thomas qualified as Republican.

Donnie Shaw, also a candidate from four years ago, previously qualified as Democrat to seek the seat putting three Democrats in that primary including incumbent Gary Thompson.

In District 4, James Perkins qualified as independent to challenge the winner of the primary election, making three opponents in that heavily competitive district.

Richard Hubbard and Jarrell Mills qualified earlier and will face incumbent Kelly Morris in the Democratic Primary.

In District 5, Chris Brocato qualified as independent and will face the winner of the Democratic Primary. Cole Flint has also qualified as Democrat in that race and faces incumbent Bubba Waldrup  in the August 2 Democratic Primary.

A spokesman for Circuit Clerk Joe Reid announced new qualifiers Monday morning.  

In the remaining county districts, Vernice Avant will repeat a 2009 match-up with Democrat William Pride in the primary. The winner will face Bubba Terrell who qualified last week as Republican.

The flurry of last-minute qualifying comes just before the qualifying deadline, which falls today at 5 p.m.

The March 1 deadline traditionally sets up a months long political campaign before the August party primaries, which previously marked the climax for local county elections.

This election cycle, some county races will continue through November as several viable candidates have qualified as independent and Republican and could possibly ride to victory on coattails of statewide elections that have recently been dominated by Republican contenders.

As publication deadlines for this issue are 24 hours before qualifying deadlines, more candidates may qualify and change the dynamics of these contests and this news story.

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