Sheriff, circuit clerk races head Democratic primary ballot

Published 10:30 am Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Sheriff Shane Phelps will face his first set of challengers in his bid for re-election in less than two weeks when the Democratic Party will hold its primary on Aug. 8. He will be on the primary ballot with Greg Draper and John Lantern.

The sheriff’s race will likely draw the most voters in the Democratic primary, and certainly will in the Nov. 7 general election, where two former county sheriff’s – Dennis Darby and Otis Griffin – are running as independents.

There are other races of interest, including the Circuit Clerk’s office where Phelps’ wife, incumbent Melissa Meek-Phelps will have a challenge from Michael Price, an alderman and vice-mayor in Sardis.

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In the Chancery Clerk race, Justin Pope is the lone Democrat on the ballot. He will run against incumbent Katie Ragon and two independent candidates in the general election.

Incumbent Tax Assessor/Collector O’Dell Draper will  have a primary contest with challenger Bill Harmon with the winner running against former officer holder David Garner in November.

Incumbent supervisors James Birge (Dist. 1) will be in the Democratic primary against challengers Fred Butts and Jessie Lyons. The winner will face an independent candidate in the fall.

In District 2, incumbent supervisor Earl Burdette will square off against two challenges in the primary, Tim Holliday and Roger Salter.

The only other Democratic candidate for a supervisor’s seat in in District 5 where Ted Stewart is unopposed.  He will run against incumbent and board president Cole Flint, an independent, in the general election.

Current constable Faye Pettis (Post 1) is the lone Democrat in her race, and Marcus Market (Post 2) is the only Democrat in the primary. Both will have independent challengers in November.