Elected officials, including new sheriff, sworn in

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 14, 2004

NATCHEZ &045; Sixteen of Adams County’s top elected officials were sworn in Tuesday morning in a chancery courtroom packed with family, supporters and local dignitaries.

With Tuesday’s ceremony behind them &045; and having taken oaths to uphold state and federal laws and faithfully perform their offices &045; they can officially begin their duties Monday.

The ceremony was the resolution of months of hard campaigning by some, including a handful of new county officials.

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Among them was incoming Sheriff Ronny Brown, who won with almost 59 percent of the vote over incumbent Tommy Ferrell after the Ferrell family had held the office for four decades.

&uot;This is as high as I’ve ever been,&uot; Brown said of his feelings after taking his oath, which was followed by sustained applause. &uot;Now, we’ll concentrate on our transition and be ready Monday morning.&uot;

In addition, two new faces &045; District 2’s Henry Watts and District 5’s S.E. &uot;Spanky&uot; Felter &045; joined the five-member Adams County Board of Supervisors.

&uot;It’s a pretty awesome feeling to be sworn in and be among the power and wisdom of these county officials,&uot; said Watts, who was sworn in by Special Judge W.O. &uot;Chet&uot; Dillard, who is Watts’ uncle.

&uot;It’s a responsibility and a challenge to take this oath,&uot; Watts said.

However, both Watts and Felter said they are ready to get down to work, helping to bring more jobs to Adams County.

&uot;That’s my biggest concern,&uot; Felter said.

&uot;We’ve got some industrial prospects,&uot; Watts said. &uot;Hopefully we’ll close those out, and I feel good that will happen soon.&uot;

The ceremony also served as a &uot;welcome back&uot; of sorts for elected officials who are returning after multiple terms in office.

Those included Sammy Cauthen who, having already served six terms as District 1 supervisor, has served the longest on that board.

Despite the dignity of the such an event, Tuesday’s ceremony had its lighter moments, too, such as when Chancery Court Judge Kennie Middleton swore in Coroner James Lee, who is an identical twin.

&uot;So I guess the first question I need to ask you is, are you the real James Lee?&uot; Middleton said, to the laughter of the crowd.

Others sworn in Tuesday included:

4 Supervisors Thomas &uot;Boo&uot; Campbell, District 3, and Darryl Grennell, District 4.

4 Chancery Clerk Tommy O’Beirne.

4 Circuit Clerk M.L. &uot;Binkey&uot; Vines.

4 Justice Court Judge Charles Vess (Judge Mary Toles was out of town and could not take her oath of office that day).

4 Constables Ray Brown and Randy Freeman.

4 Tax Collector Vernona Sanders.

4 Tax Assessor Reynolds Atkins.

4 District Attorney Ronnie Harper.

4 County Prosecuting Attorney Barret Martin.