Election: rounds 1 and 2 over; more challengers ahead 8/28/2015

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 28, 2015

Election: rounds 1 and 2 over; more challengers ahead

By Rupert Howell
Brace yourself for the next round of elections as 12 of 20 local elected positions have challenges on the November 3 general election ballot.

HIghlighting that ballot will be Panola County Sheriff’s race that is a rematch between incumbent Dennis Darby and former sheriff Otis Griffin.

That rematch is unlike two previous elections between the two as Griffin, like Darby, is running independent and Democratic nominee Mark Whitten will also be included on the winner take all ballot.

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Whitten defeated former Batesville Police Chief Rodger Vanlandingham in the Democratic primary to earn his spot on the general election ballot.

In 2010, Griffin won the first round in a special election to fill an unexpired term of the later Hugh Wayne “Shot” Bright who died while in office.

Darby, running independent,  turned table in the next general election, 2011, when he faced Griffin who was running as an incumbent Democrat. Both elections were close.

Incumbent independent Chancery Clerk Jim Pitcock faces a challenge from Democrat Mike Darby. Pitcock has also had his share of close races, but has always managed to come out on top. Darby is a former District Three supervisor having served that board as president.

Some of the other independent candidates include: Supervisor District One, David Arnold and Nicholas Hardy who will face incumbent Democrat James Birge; District Two Supervisor, independent candidates Tim Holliday and Keith Mothershed face the Democratic nominee Vernice Avant.

In District Three, independent supervisor candidate John McCollum faces incumbent Democrat John Thomas.

District Four Democratic supervisor nominee Donald Phelps had an impressive win in the runoff election but now faces the Republican nominee, John O. Green and three independents, Joe Horton, Mike Moore and Whit Tidwell.

In supervisor District Five, independent Ted Stewart faces incumbent Democrat Cole Flint. Flint is seeking his second term and Stewart is currently serving as Alderman for the City of Batesville—a position he won as a Democrat.

Incumbent Democrat Raye Hawkins faces independent Earl Burdette in the Second Court District Justice Court Judge race. Hawkins is a former Batesville policeman and Burdette is Como’s police chief and formerly worked in the Panola County Sheriff’s Department.
In Senate District 9, incumbent Republican Gray Tollison faces Democrat Cristen Hemmins.
State Senate District 14 Republican incumbent Lydia Chassaniol faces a challenge from Democratic nominee Georgio Proctor.

Incumbent District 10 Representative Nolan Mettetal faces a challenge from independent Ken Daugherty. Mettetal is also a former member of the state Senate and Daugherty is a recently retired educator.

General election winners require only a plurality as opposed to a majority required in party primaries.