Tuesday runoff election to set the stage for November

By HASKEL BURNS,

Voters in Forrest and Lamar counties will return to the polls for a Tuesday runoff election that will decide several key positions in the counties, including the Republican nomination for sheriff, a chancery clerk seat and several supervisor positions.

The runoff was necessitated for several candidates who did not receive the necessary 50 percent of votes plus one vote in the recent primary election. If you voted in the party primary election, you must vote for that same party in the runoff election.

Depending on their party, Forrest and Lamar county voters also will see a handful of state races on the ballot, including governor and attorney general.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. on election day; as long as you are in line by 7 p.m. you are entitled to cast a vote. If you are not sure which precinct to vote at, call the Forrest County Circuit Clerk’s office at (601) 582-3213 or the Lamar County Circuit Clerk’s office at (601) 794-8504.

Forrest County

On the Republican side in Forrest County, voters will see two local races on the ballot: sheriff and U.S. House of Representatives District 87.

The hotly-contested race for sheriff will feature candidates David Bassett and Charlie Sims and will determine the Republican candidate for that position.

Sims, 60, retired as chief of police from the Hattiesburg Police Department in 2001 and has been Assistant Director of Public Safety for Forrest General Hospital since 2005. He also served as curriculum coordinator for the Mississippi Police Corp Program and director of Staff Development for the National Police Corp Program.

Bassett began his law enforcement career in 1997 at the Petal Police Department. During his time there he served as a patrol officer, sergeant, K-9 officer, Swat team member and as chief investigator. He also assisted the Hattiesburg Police Department as a part of a joint neighborhood enhancement team with his K-9 partner.  In 2006, Bassett became a deputy with the Forrest County Sheriff’s Office.

The winner of the runoff will face Independent candidates Jerry Oswalt Sr. and Kenny Johnson in the November general election. The winner of that election will take over for current Sheriff Billy McGee, who is retiring at the end of this term.

The District 87 race will see Republican candidates William “Billy” Andrews III and Joseph “Bubba” Tubb. Lamar County also is included in this race.

On the Democratic side, longtime Forrest County District 2 Supervisor Charles Marshall will defend his seat against challenger Sharon A. Thompson. The winner of that election will face Republican Allen Rainey in the general election.

Lamar County

No Democrats will be featured on the runoff ballot in Lamar County.

On the Republican side, Phillip Carlisle, who currently serves as Lamar County District 4 Supervisor, will face off against Jamie Aultman for the Lamar County Chancery Clerk position.

Carlisle will vacate his supervisor post at the end of this term in his pursuit for the chancery clerk seat. He has served as supervisor for eight years and has a Master of Business degree from William Carey University and retired in 2006 from active duty in the Mississippi Army National Guard.

Aultman, a Sumrall resident, serves as human resources manager at the Mississippi Department of Transportation. A graduate of Sumrall High School, he is a member of Pine Ridge Baptist Church and the Sumrall Lions Club.

The winner of that election will run unopposed in the general election and will take over for current Lamar County Chancery Clerk Wayne Smith, who is retiring at the end of this term.

Republicans Terry Bass and Larry Bracey will face off for District 3 Supervisor in the primary election. The winner will run unopposed in the general election and will fill the seat of current District 3 Supervisor Joe Bounds, who also serves as board president and is retiring at the end of this term.

In the race for District 4 Supervisor, Republicans Mitch Brent and Tony E. Shifalo Jr. will vie for Carlisle’s current seat. The winner will run unopposed in the general election.

Hunter Andrews and Marc A. Broome will square off for Lamar County Surveyor, while Scooter Coker and Lyn Thompson will face off for District 3 Constable. The winners of those elections will run unopposed in the general election.

Lamar County Republican voters also will choose between William “Billy” Andrews and Joseph “Bubba” Tubb for House District 87, which includes Forrest County. Incumbent John Glen Corley and Jansen Owen will vie for House District 106, which includes Pearl River County.

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