November ballot

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Local, state and national races on November ballot

By Billy Davis

The election ballot Panola Countians will view November 6 will sort of be like the First Monday flea market: something for everybody.

There is the presidential election, of course, which set a record for voter turnout in Panola County four years ago.

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A record-breaking 16,531 votes were cast throughout the county, totaling 80-percent turnout in 2008.

Panola County voters typically split their votes evenly between the Republican and Democrat nominee for President. Unofficial returns showed Panolians voted 52-48 respectively for then-Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain, a spread of 1,070 votes.

Senate, congressional races

There are other elections on the ballots tied to a Washington, D.C. One of Mississippi’s two senate seats will be on the ballot statewide, and Panola County will vote for the state’s 2nd District congressman for the first time.

Republican Sen. Roger Wicker will be on the ballot along with Democratic challenger Albert Gore Jr. (no, not that Al Gore).

 Thomas Cramer of the Constitution Party and Shawn O’Hara, a Reform Party candidate, are also on the ballot.

Longtime Democrat Congressman Bennie Thompson is also up for re-election November 6. He is expected to win easily over Republican challenger Bill Marcy and two other challengers, Cobby Williams and Lajena Williams.

Panola County and other “hill” counties were put in the 2nd District this year, and Marcy has been courting those voters in his bid to unseat Thompson. Marcy lost to the incumbent two years ago.

Rep. Alan Nunnelee is the 1st District congressman who left behind Panola County. He is facing Democrat Brad Morris. Morris was the chief of staff for former Congressman Travis Childers, who was defeated by Nunnelee in 2010.

Supreme Court race

There has been a lot of ink used locally and statewide to describe the contest between for an open seat on the Mississippi Supreme Court.

Batesville attorney Richard “Flip” Phillips is seeking the seat along with Josiah Coleman, an Oxford attorney.
The winner will fill the seat being vacated by retiring justice George C. Carlson, also of Batesville.

Election commission races

Panola County’s elections are overseen by the five-person Panola County Election Commission, now chaired by Ronald “Runt” McMinn.

McMinn is not seeking re-election to the District 5 seat, which set up contest for the position. Bonnie Land and Deliley Gatson are seeking the post.

In a second competitive race, incumbent Jerry Perkins is facing challenger Wanda Lawrence-Carmichael for the District 4 seat.

Carmichael has actively campaigned with political signs throughout District 4 while Perkins has yet to advertise his re-election.

Fellow election commissioners Dorothy Kerney-Wilbourn, Julius Harris and Jimmy Herron are running unopposed.