Two candidates are disqualified

Published 2:06 pm Tuesday, March 12, 2019

By Jeremy Weldon

Two candidates for Panola County offices were disqualified last week by the Election Commission. Both were taken off the potential ballot because of incorrectly submitted paperwork.

Adrian Kirkwood and Darryl House, both Independent candidates for Constable Post 1, were informed of the decision by the Election Commission. Kirkwood is the police chief at Crenshaw and works for the Sheriff’s Department. House is a county deputy.

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Each had submitted qualifying papers to run against the current seat holder, Faye Pettis, the assistant police chief at Como. Pettis was appointed to the seat on a 3-2 vote by the Board of Supervisors in the fall upon the retirement of Buck Harris.

The vote for that appointment was carried by Supervisors James Birge, Vernice Avant, and Donald Phelps. Supervisors John Thomas and Cole Flint voted against the appointment saying the board members should consider others who had shown interest in replacing Harris.

Kirkwood said last week he went to Jackson to speak with officials from the Attorney General’s office and the Secretary of State’s office in an effort to be placed back on the ballot. There has been no word that either office has made favorable response to the request, and some county officials believe the Secretary of State’s office will follow precedent and not allow candidates disqualified for improper paperwork to seek relief.

With the other candidates in the race disqualified, Pettis will advance to the general election unopposed and remain the Constable for the northern portion of the county another four years without a ballot contest.

In the other constable race, incumbent Raye Hawkins, a Democrat, will face Independent challenger Maurice Market, also a Sheriff’s Department deputy, in the general election.

Election commissioners are elected, one from each supervisors’ district. In Panola County, the commissioners are Dorothy WIlbourn, chairman (District One), Julius Harris (District Two), Wayne Belk (District Three), Wanda Carmichael (District Four), and Kaye Smith (District Five).