The Democrat announces endorsements

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 30, 1999

Expressing your opinion isn’t always as easy as it sounds — whether you’re taking part in a friendly debate our offering insight on critical community issues in a newspaper.

But, it’s the responsibility of a good community newspaper to offer that opinion. During election times, that opinion often takes the form of endorsements … recommendations to our fellow voters on the men, or women, we believe are the strongest candidates for office.

These recommendations are rarely easy to make; candidates often present strong slates of strengths and weaknesses and we, like any voters, must determine which sets of strengths are the most important in any office. The following endorsements are offered after careful and lengthy consideration; in some of the cases, our editorial board met with the candidates involved and asked them dozens of questions with the goal of determining which candidate could be most effective in serving the interests, and needs, of Adams County.

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We strongly encourage you to support these candidates with your vote on Tuesday, Nov. 2:

Mike Parker, Republican candidate for governor. It’s a tight race for governor this year, and both Parker and his Democratic opponent Ronnie Musgrove bring a wealth of varying skills and assets to the table. Our vote, however, goes to Parker, a southwest Mississippi resident who has long been a political friend of this area. We believe if elected governor Parker would keep the interests and needs of Southwest Mississippi — particularly Adams County — in the forefront of his agenda. And, quite frankly, it’s about time for this area to benefit from a little attention on the statewide level.

Bill Hawks, Republican candidate for lieutenant governor. Hawks’ career and service record are impressive, and he brings a level of maturity and experience in consensus building that his opponent lacks.

Eric Clark, Democratic candidate for secretary of state. Clark’s commitment to his work as secretary of state is obvious. In what he jokingly describes as a “boring” but tedious job, Clark says he “loves” it. And his commitment to making that office more user friendly during the past four years has paid high dividends. His focus is right on — serving the people of Mississippi who utilize the secretary of state’s office as highly prized customers — and effective. We also appreciate his concern and protection of tidelands along the Gulf Coast.

Andrew Ketchings, Republican candidate for the District 95 seat in the Mississippi House of Representatives. Ketchings has completed only one term in office, but his commitment to the people of Natchez and District 95 is evident. His steady, low-key approach to governing and legislating means that he listens, takes the time to understand and follows his conscience in voting. We also believe Ketchings has the potential to build seniority and influence in the Mississippi Legisature, and District 95 residents would be well-served by sending him back to Jackson for another four years.

Tommy Ferrell, Democratic candidate for Adams County sheriff. Ferrell’s record of service is proven … again and again. We need him in office again.

Sammy Cauthen, Democratic candidate for District 1 supervisor. This race, perhaps more than any other, is a difficult choice. We respect Cauthen’s Republican opponent Branon Pesnell and believe he has the potential, and the enthusiasm, to be a good public servant. However, Cauthen has seniority and experience on the Board of Supervisors and now, perhaps more than ever, we believe the county needs the wisdom that comes from experience. While Cauthen might not always win friends with his vote, he understands that his role as supervisor is to exercise sound judgment in making decisions and guiding the county — not trying to win a popularity contest. Cauthen’s been a solid supervisor — committed, reliable and a former president of the board ? and we need his leadership and experience on that board.

Lynwood Easterling, Democratic candidate for District 5 supervisor. Easterling’s commitment to seeking this post has remained unwavering through a difficult primary and challenging general election. He seems sincere in his effort to serve the members of his district and should be an asset to the board of supervisors.

Pat Powers, Independent candidate for coroner. It’s a job that few seek, but the coroner’s post has drawn more attention in this race than any other. Powers is a late-comer to the race, but he has experience as a police investigator that should prove useful to him as coroner.

Fred Ferguson, independent candidate for Adams County Circuit Clerk. Ferguson is the incumbent. In his first two terms, he has worked to improve the efficiency of the office by replacing outdated written files with a new computer system. He has the integrity and know-how to manage the office.

Most important of all, we encourage you to vote on Tuesday. Express your opinion where it counts most — in the ballot box.