By Russell Hood
The Webster Progress-Times
Officeholders serving all or part of Webster County who were seeking an additional term won re-election last week while a new supervisor and constable were elected to open seats.
Democrat Curtis C. “Eudy” Morris was elected the new District 1 supervisor in the Nov. 3 general election. He outpolled Republican Billy Tabb 408 votes to 292 or 58 percent in complete but unofficial results. Morris will replace Robert Hitt, who did not seek a fourth term as supervisor.
The only other contested supervisor race was in District 5, where Democratic incumbent Doug Burgess defeated Republican challenger Mike Womack 562 votes to 217 or 75 percent.
In other contested races, Democratic Sheriff Tim Mitchell won a second term with 2,932 votes or 84 percent over Republican challenger Rocco “Rocky” Mumphrey, who polled 553 votes.
In constable races, Democratic incumbent Jeff McMinn retained the District 1 seat by a 77 percent margin, defeating Republican Andy Morgan 1,336 votes to 398.
In the open District 2 seat, Democratic candidate Jeremy Kilgore defeated Republican Timmy Green by 1,271 votes to 478 or 73 percent. Kilgore will succeed longtime Constable David Murphy when he takes office in January.
In the race for Justice Court judge, District 1, incumbent Democrat Jerry Jones defeated Jamie Brown, an Independent. Jones tallied 1,102 votes or 64 percent while Brown had 611 votes.
Republican incumbent Steve Wells defeated Jeff Mann, a Democrat, in his re-election bid for coroner/chief medical examiner. Wells garnered 2,070 votes or 60 percent to Mann’s 1,400 votes.
Republican Sen. Gary Jackson of French Camp won re-election to a fourth term in District 15 with 61 percent of the vote over Democrat Cecil Simmons of Mathiston, a former member of the state House. Senate District 15 includes Oktibbeha, Webster, Choctaw, and Montgomery counties. Jackson carried Webster County with 66 percent of the vote.
In the House of Representatives, Republican incumbent Joey Hood of Ackerman secured another term in District 35, which includes portions of Attala, Choctaw, Webster and Winston counties.
He won re-election over Democratic challenger Patrick Warner of Louisville with 57 percent of the vote. Hood received 65 percent of the vote in Webster County.
Republican Karl Oliver of Winona will be the next state representative for House District 46, succeeding Bobby Howell of Kilmichael, who did not seek re-election. The district comprises all of Montgomery County and parts of Carroll, Grenada, Leflore and Webster (Bluff Springs, Cadaretta and Fay precincts).
Oliver defeated Democrat Ken Strachan of North Carrollton, receiving 59 percent of the votes districtwide and 72 percent in Webster County. Oliver is president of Oliver Funeral Home Inc. in Winona and has served as Montgomery County coroner for 24 years
Mississippi voters rejected any change to the state constitution to bolster public school funding, defeating Initiative 42. Initiative 42 and the Alternative 42 (42A) appeared on the ballot as competing measures.
If Initiative 42 had passed, the state constitution would have read that the state (replacing the Legislature) is required to provide an adequate and efficient system of public schools and gives the chancery court the ability to enforce that requirement.
The alternative measure placed on the ballot by the Legislature would have called for “effective” rather than “adequate” funding without the ability to appeal to court.
Voters had to first decide if they wanted a constitutional amendment. Then they could vote for either 42 or 42A. If someone voted against both amendments they could still cast a ballot for one of the initiatives.
According to The Clarion-Ledger, 54 percent voted against changing the state constitution. Because of that decision, 42 and 42A failed. In Webster County, voters followed the statewide trend in opposing the effort but by a wider margin, 69 to 31 percent.
However, 59 percent of Mississippi voters supported Initiative 42 in the second question. That same percentage was in favor of 42A in Webster County.
In statewide and state-district races involving Webster County, all incumbents were re-elected and carried Webster County with these percentages:
• Republican Gov. Phil Bryant, 83 percent.
• Republican Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, 73 percent.
• Republican Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, 77 percent.
• Democratic Attorney General Jim Hood, 51 percent.
• Republican Auditor Stacey Pickering, 78 percent.
• Republican Treasurer Lynn Fitch, 88 percent.
• Republican Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce Cindy Hyde-Smith, 77 percent.
• Democratic Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley (Northern District), 62 percent.
• Republican Transportation Commissioner Mike Tagert (Northern District), 79 percent.
Eleven photo ID affidavits remained out as of Monday, according to the circuit clerk’s office. Those electors had until 5 p.m. Tuesday to present a valid form of voter ID to have their votes counted. The voter turnout in Webster County was about 48 percent, with 154 absentee ballots cast.
See below for election results.