Phelps wins sheriff’s race

Published 9:11 am Friday, November 8, 2019

Former Mississippi Highway Patrol officer Shane Phelps used an aggressive grassroots campaign to unseat incumbent Panola County Sheriff Dennis Darby in Tuesday’s General Election.

In unofficial results, Phelps beat Darby 6,058 to 5,349, winning 12 of the county’s 21 precincts. Phelps had more name recognition than most first-time candidates with his father having served as county supervisor two terms and his wife being the current Circuit Clerk for the county.

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Darby was one of several incumbent North Mississippi sheriff’s to fail in their re-election bid this voting cycle. He will have served two terms when Phelps takes over the department at the beginning of the new year in January.

Phelps ran on the Democratic ticket and Darby as an Independent. Darby’s winning boxes were in East Batesville and the east part of the county. Phelps’ best boxes were at Concord-Macedonia, Sardis, Como, and Courtland.

In other local races, the Board of Supervisors will have two new members – Chad Weaver in District 4 and Earl Burdette in District 2. In District 1, incumbent Democrat James Birge beat Independent Harold Lewis to win another term.

In District 3, incumbent Democrat John Thomas turned back Republican challenger Ken Williams for the second time after beating John McCullom in the primary. In District  5, Cole Flint did not have a General Election opponent after beating Ted Stewart in the August Democratic Primary.

Melissa Meek-Phelps had no opponent, Gaines Baker had no opponent for County Attorney, Gracie Grant-Gulledge was unopposed for coroner, Faye Pettis had no challenger for Post 1 Constable, and Jim Pitcock drew no challenge for his Chancery Clerk seat.

Raye Hawkins beat Maurice Market for Post 2 Constable in the General Election. O’Dell Draper, Jr., won the Democratic Primary against incumbent David Garner for Tax Assessor/Collector, and Justice Court Judges Mike Wilson (Post 1) and Charlie Baglan (Post 2) were unopposed Tuesday.

In the Mississippi House of Rep. District 10 race, Republican Brady Williamson beat Democrat Bobby Dailey and Independent Josh Hawkins. In the State Sen. District 10 race, Republican Nicole Akins-Boyd beat Democrat Kevin Frye, and State Sen. Robert Jackson, Democrat, kept his seat from Independent challenger Clara Dawkins.