Jackson re-elected as sheriff of Wilkinson County

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 24, 2008

WOODVILLE — Almost a year after the initial election and the electoral chaos that ensued, Sheriff Reginald “Pip” Jackson was re-elected Tuesday night.

The final — albiet unofficial — vote was 1,984 votes for Jackson and 1,904 votes for independent challenger Calvin Gaines.

Near the 5 p.m. office closing time Wednesday, Wilkinson County Circuit Clerk’s Office officials said the votes were in the process of being certified but had not been at that time.

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Representatives from the Mississippi Secretary of State’s Office, the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office, the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation, the Mississippi State Police and one U.S. Marshal monitored the vote counting Tuesday night.

Ballots had to be hand counted because two different ballots were used during early voting, one that listed Jackson’s name first, and another that listed Gaines’ name first.

When the issue that was brought up in court last week, election officials said the name placement switch was made when they corrected a filing error.

Tuesday’s vote was the long-delayed general election that was supposed to follow the Aug. 7, 2007 Wilkinson County Democratic primary election.

Though the general election for some offices did happen in November, the results of the primary for sheriff, circuit clerk and district 2 supervisor were contested — and thus delayed the general election for those offices — from nearly the time the polls closed in August 2007 until late February.

The primary do-over for the election was June 24, in which Jackson defeated Democratic challenger Jesse Stewart. Stewart requested to examine the ballot boxes after the election, but did not ultimately contest the election.

Circuit Clerk-elect Lynn Delaney won the primary against Circuit Clerk Mon Cree Allen, who filed a contest that a majority of the Wilkinson County Democratic Executive Committee voted not to hear.

Supervisor Richard Hollins won against Kirk Smith in the primary, but a simple majority the Democratic executive committee voted to overturn those results when Smith contested it.

Both Smith and Allen alleged election fraud and improper election practices in their contests.

In the decisions against Allen and Hollins, many members of the committee refused to vote.