Sunday, January 24, 2021

Local Incumbents Qualify Early for 2019 Elections

By Alyssa Schnugg
News Editor

Photo by Talbert Toole.

Editor’s Note: will run an update each Monday until March 1 on who qualifies for local elections and on local citizens who qualify for state elections.

On the first day of the election qualification period, 23 local candidates went to the Lafayette County Courthouse to make their candidacy officially known.

Of those, 12 were incumbents who are currently holding county seats.

This year’s county elections will include the Board of Supervisors, sheriff, coroner, county attorney, Justice Court judges, constables, court clerks and the tax collector/assessors.

As of Wednesday, three people so far have thrown their hats into the sheriff race – Oxford Police Chief Joey East, the son of the late F.D. “Buddy” East who served as sheriff for more than 40 years before his death in the fall of 2018; Raymond Westley Sides; and Jeffrey Clinton South. East and Sides qualified as Democrats while South qualified as an Independent.

Incumbents qualifying Wednesday with no opposition so far, were Chancery Clerk Sherry Wall, Tax Collector/Assessor Sylvia Baker, County Attorney Jay Chain, Coroner Rocky Kennedy; Justice Court Judges, Johnny Wayne McLarty, Southern District, Mickey Avent, Central and Carolyn Pettis Bell, Northern; Constables, Greg “Spankey” Pettis, Northern District, Jackie Theobald, Southern and Jody Mayfield, Central.

Three incumbent supervisors qualified Wednesday – District 3 Supervisor David Rikard, District 4 Supervisor Chad McLarty and District 5 Supervisor Mike Roberts.

McLarty and Roberts had no one toss their hat in to run against them on the first day of qualifying; however, Cynthia Parham and Dale Timothy Gordon, both Democrats, qualifying to run against Rikard, a Republican. 

District 1 and 2 supervisors, Kevin Frye and Jeff Busby respectfully, qualified to run for other positions. Frye will be running for the District 9 Mississippi Senate Seat and Busby qualified to run for the Circuit Court Clerk position, currently held by Baretta Mosley, who is retiring at the end of 2019 and is not seeking reelection.

Brent Larson qualified Wednesday to run for Frye’s seat, and Larry Gillespie (R), J.E. Ed Neilson, (D) and Ava Halon Bonds Gossett, (D), qualified to run for Busby’s seat.

Oxford resident Rep. Jay Hughes, currently the Mississippi House representative for Oxford, qualified to run as lieutenant governor.

The qualifying period will end on March 1.