Candidates square off in runoff

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 21, 1999

This Tuesday, Adams County voters will mark primary runoff ballots for county coroner and supervisor in District 5 in addition to deciding some state candidates for the Nov. 2 general election.

James E. Lee and Hugh W. Tedder will face one another in the Democratic runoff for Adams County coroner.

Lee said he has always been in the business of helping other people and his run for county coroner is no departure from that.

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“My top priority is to provide service for all people of the county,” Lee said.

“I’d like to introduce a program to reach out to teenagers, tell them that things like drugs can contribute to an early death.”

As Adams County goes into a new millennium, Lee said he hopes voters will give him the chance to prove himself.

“I have 20 years of medical experience,” he said. As a field medic and chaplain assistant in the Army, Lee received additional training in crisis situations.

Lee currently pastors Greater Fatherland Baptist Church in Natchez and said he will balance his ministry with what he sees as an expanded ministry as coroner.

Tedder, the incumbent, declined to comment for this story.

Democrats Lynwood Eastering and James T. West are in a runoff for the District 5 seat on the Adams County board of supervisors.

Both candidates agree the top priority for the Adams County Board of Supervisors is jobs.

“We’re in bad shape and jobs affect everything,” Easterling said.

On the campaign trail, Easterling said he has seen many sad reminders of how sorely jobs are needed in Adams County.

“I’ve been to houses where nobody is home with the kids because parents have to work two jobs to make ends meet,” he said.

West agreed.

“We need to look into what other people have done to successfully recruit jobs,” West said, adding that he supports the idea of visiting places like Tupelo, where jobs have been successfully recruited.

“We need to start making an effort not just to talk about getting jobs but to start taking action.”

Both candidates acknowledge a racial undercurrent in the campaign.

“Race is definitely there,” said Easterling. “I know it. James knows it. But how do you combat it? People have to learn to trust you.”

West said the people of Adams County have wasted too much time talking about what separates them rather than what they have in common.

“We’re going to have to learn to communicate in Adams County,” West said. “We’ve got to learn to sit at the table and talk and find common denominators so we can move forward in Adams County.”

Both Easterling and West said they oppose annexation of county lands into the city of Natchez because they feel the residents of District 5 oppose it.

In state races, voters will decide whether Larry L. Albritton or Michael Callahan will get the Democratic nod as Public Service Commissioner for the Southern District.