Runoff smooth in county

Published 3:58 pm Monday, December 3, 2018

Staff Report

Save for a few minor glitches, the runoff election on Tuesday was without incident in Panola County. Just over 50 percent of the 21,953 registered voters in the county cast ballots (11,033) in the runoff for the U.S. Senate special election race, and for Appeals Court District 2, Position 1.

Incumbent Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith beat Democratic challenger Mike Espy by almost eight points statewide. Polls indicated the race might be within five points after Sen. Hyde-Smith stumbled politically in the last month of the race when questionable comments she made about race were broadcast.

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With all 1,797 state precincts reporting, Hyde-Smith had 479,278 votes to Espy’s 410,693.

In Panola County’s 22 precincts, Espy received 6,077 votes (55.2 percent) to Hyde-Smith’s 4,929 (44.8 percent). In the general election Nov. 6, Espy got 4,795 votes to Hyde-Smith’s 3,585.

In the Appeals Court runoff, Deborah McDonald bested Eric Charles Hawkins 2,127 votes (60.9 percent) to 1,351 (38.7 percent). McDonald won the runoff with 65 percent of the vote in the 2nd Congressional District which stretches through 24 counties running south from Tunica County to Jefferson County, including parts of Jackson and running as far east as Winona.