Circuit Clerk Meek-Phelps

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 6, 2012

New circuit clerk on job, announces next elections

By John Howell Sr.

Candidates for Panola County Election Commissioner have until Friday, September 7 to qualify for the posts, Panola County Circuit Clerk Melissa Meek-Phelps said.

Five election commissioners — one from each supervisor’s district — are elected to serve four-year terms in elections held the year after the state’s quadrennial elections for district, county and statewide posts from supervisor to governor. Election commissioners’ duties include conducting the county’s general elections.

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Election commissioners will be selected in the General Election on November 6, but Meek-Phelps will oversee her first election in her new job on Tuesday, March 13 with the Republican Presidential Primary election. At least eight candidates vying for the Republican nomination will appear on the ballot. The candidates include Michelle Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, John Huntsman, Gary Johnson, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum, according to the Secretary of State’s web site. A primary runoff will be held Tuesday, April 3

The qualifying period for Congressional candidates gets under way this week and extends through January 13. This year marks a change for Panola voters, as they will vote in the Second Congressional District after a three-judge panel released a redistricting plan that moves Yalobusha, Panola and Grenada counties to the Second District.

Incumbent Congressman Bennie Thompson (D) will face at least one challenger after Greenville Mayor Heather McTeer (D) announced she will run for the office. Thompson is currently serving his eighth term as Congressman for Mississippi’s Second District and is the ranking member of the Progressive Caucus and member of the Congressional Black Caucus.

One school board trustee from each school district in the county is also up for grabs. Meek-Phelps reported posts 1 could be on the Nov. 6 ballot if either of the posts are contested. The qualifying period for the school slots starts Aug. 8 and continues to Sept. 7.