Candidates find out if they will be in runoffs

Published 12:38 am Thursday, August 16, 2007

NATCHEZ — After more than a week of waiting for ballots to be counted, county Democratic candidates found out Wednesday night if they would be in runoffs.

Click on election results for the latest Adams County primary results.

According to results pending certification, Democratic races requiring runoffs include:

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– Circuit clerk: Eddie Walker and M.L. “Binkey” Vines.

– Tax collector: Rose Daniel Johnson and Peter Burns Jr.

– District 1 supervisor: Mike Lazarus and Mike Smith.

– District 3 supervisor: Thomas “Boo” Campbell and Britt Gibson.

– Justice court judge, southern district: Danny Barber and Charlie Vess.

At roughly midnight, after multiple computer problems, candidates had a compilation of Election Day, absentee, affidavit, emergency and curbside ballots.

The closest race among candidates was that of circuit clerk.

Incumbent M.L. “Binkey” Vines led the group with 2,837 votes, or 27.78 percent of the vote. Candidate Eddie Walker came in second with 2,640 votes, or 25.85 percent. Walker barely edged out runner-up Donnie Holloway, who had 2,531 votes, or 24.78 percent.

Vines was confident about the Aug. 28 runoff.

“We’re going to win this race,” Vines said. “I put my trust in the Lord. You can’t put your trust in people. You have to put your trust in the Lord.”

Walker said he didn’t want to be overconfident but felt he could win the runoff.

“I think I stand a good chance,” Walker said. “We lost a week waiting for vote counts, and that’s a precious week. But it’s time to act now.”

Leader in the race for tax collector, Rose Daniel Johnson won 4,087 votes, or 39.87 percent.

“(Having) no runoff would have been wonderful, but we will do what we have to do,” she said.

Johnson’s opponent, Peter Burns, won 2,812 votes, or 27.43 percent of the votes cast.

“Now, we’re ready to move onto the next phase — hard work in a short period of time,” he said.

Burns said the challenge would be to get his vote out in the two weeks before the runoffs.

District 3 supervisor incumbent Thomas “Boo” Campbell, who won 770 votes, or 46.44 percent of the vote, said he wasn’t worried about his runoff.

“I think I’ve got a good chance of winning,” Campbell said. “We were the go-getters in the lead in the (initial) primary, so I think we are going to win this one.”

Candidate Britt Gibson, who had 423 votes, or 25.51 percent of the vote, said he was fairly confident about the upcoming runoff.

District 1 supervisor candidate Mike Lazarus, who won 1,060 votes, or 46.59 percent, was enthusiastic about campaigning again.

“Its hard work, but it’s been fun,” Lazarus said. “We’ve been waiting for the numbers.”

Mike Smith, who won 684 votes, or 30.07 percent, got a jump on the runoff, he said.

“We’ve got mail-outs in the mail,” Smith said.

The race that almost didn’t need a runoff was that of justice court judge, southern district.

At one point, incumbent Judge Charlie Vess was 30 votes short of the required 50 percent plus one to avoid a runoff.

Vess, who won 2,637 votes, or 49.4 percent, said he was disappointed but not surprised.

“I think I’ve had a runoff almost every time I’ve run for judge,” he said. “I’m not going to challenge (the election) at this point. People are already tired and frustrated enough.”

Vess’ runoff opponent, Danny Barber, won 1,588 votes, or 29.75 percent of the vote.

Barber could not be reached for comment Wednesday evening.