By Billy Davis
Republican voters in Mississippi split the state’s delegate count among three Presidential candidates Tuesday, with Rick Santorum finishing first.
Panola County voters selected Newt Gingrich, who finished second statewide, over Santorum and Mitt Romney, who finished third.
Unofficial returns show Gingrich won 908 votes, or 34 percent, of 2,651 votes cast in the Republican Primary in Panola County.
Vote totals include absentee ballots but not affidavits, which were being counted Wednesday morning.
Romney won 839 votes while Santorum finished third with 790 votes. The fourth-place finisher was Ron Paul, who garnered 85 votes.Four other candidates — all have dropped out — were on the ballot.
In a second GOP primary, U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker won 89 percent of Panola County votes over two challengers. He was statewide as well.
In the Democratic Primary, Congressman Bennie Thompson easily won the party nomination over challenger Heather McTeer.
Thompson handily won Panola County with 89 percent of 2,689 votes cast.
U.S. senate candidate Albert Gore Jr. won the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate and will face Wicker in the November general election.
Gore won in Panola County with 57 percent of the vote.