Phelps wins Democratic primary, faces two Independent candidates in November

Published 2:07 pm Wednesday, August 9, 2023

Panola County Sheriff Shane Phelps outpolled two of his four challengers in Tuesday’s Democratic primary. Unofficial totals (absentee’s votes excluded) show Phelps picked up 2,629 of the 3,924, or about 67 percent of the vote.

Phelps’ landslide win in the primary won’t likely manifest again in the Nov. 7 general election when he will square off against two former sheriff’s – both of whom have good bases of broad support.

“It will be tougher in the next for sure, I know that,” Phelps said at the Batesville Courthouse Tuesday when it the size of his primary victory became apparent. “We know we have a lot of work to do between now and then, but it’s good to get past the first round.”

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Phelps beat fellow Democrats Greg Draper and John Lantern in each of the county’s 21 precincts. The closest box count was at the Sardis Library where Phelps got 180 votes, Lantern 167, and Draper 20.

Phelps total vote count was 2,629, Lantern had 923, and Draper got 326.

The sheriff was predictably strong near his home in the Pope/Courtland area. He won the Courtland box 329 to Lantern’s 31, and Draper’s 21. At Hosanna Church, in Pope, Phelps got 173 votes to his opponents’ combined 9.

A precinct by precinct count total for all county races will be published in the Aug. 16 print edition of the newspaper.