Johnson, Gibbs now in runoff

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 5, 2002

VIDALIA &045;&045; Malfunctioning machinery led to frustrating delays in tallying up the last few hundred absentee votes in Saturday’s primary elections, but when the results came in just past 10:30 p.m., there were few surprises.

The four-way race for the Seventh Judicial District’s Division A judgeship ended in a runoff between incumbent Kathy Johnson and former assistant district attorney Madaline Gibbs.

Johnson trounced Gibbs 51.24 percent to 22.74 percent in Catahoula, her home parish. But in Concordia, where Gibbs lives, the final numbers were closer: Johnson had 44.64 percent and Gibbs 35.82 percent.

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William Yarbrough and John Reeves, who followed Gibbs in a miniature exodus from the district attorney’s office, were left behind, both garnering only low double-digit support.

Johnson and Gibbs will have 30 more days to shake hands and kiss babies before the Nov. 5 general election.

Ridgecrest Mayor Guy Lain will stay on at his post, having beaten challenger Mandy Cowan with 73 percent of the votes.

With 75 percent to Wanda Smith’s 25 percent, Drew Harrison will take over the Ridgecrest Police Department, left vacant by departing Chief Johnny Jones.

Gary Nations won the District 3 justice of the peace race over Patti Sanders with 70 percent of the vote.

Incumbent Justin Conner and Carolyn Hendricks will face each other in a run-off for the District 1 justice of the peace seat, as will incumbent Tim Adams and Jerry Stallings in District 4.

Charlie White took the District 5A justice of the peace race over James Nixon with 56 percent of the vote.

Rosa Elaine and Charles Quimby will go at it again in a month for the District 1 constable post.

Rickey Hollins will stay on as District 2 constable, beating out Frank Duson with 65 percent of the votes.

Curtis Wrecker Service owner Curtis Nelson put the hurt on his opponents, Earl Cotton and Jesse Davis, in the District 3 constable race with 54 percent of the vote.

In Jonesville, Mayor Billy Edwards was edged out by Roosevelt Savage and Mike Wilson, who will face off Nov. 5.

Most of the votes in Concordia Parish had been counted by 9 p.m., but the final counts were held up when a scanning machine jammed while elections workers were counting absentee votes.

Clerk of Court Clyde Ray Webber expressed a certain amount of consternation with the delays. &uot;I’ve been here 35 years. This is the first time we’ve ever been late.&uot;