Five qualify for county election set for Nov. 7

Published 12:33 am Monday, August 7, 2017


NATCHEZ — Five people have qualified for the various positions to be elected in the Nov. 7 special election, but approximately a month remains in qualifying.

Adams County Election Commissioner Larry Gardner said the deadline for qualifying is Sept. 8.

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For Southern District Justice Court Judge, Danny Barber and Jack Blaney have qualified, Circuit Court Clerk Eddie Walker said.

Walker said for County Prosecutor, Bryan Callaway and Shameca Collins have qualified.

Finally, Alma Fletcher has qualified for District 5 Election Commissioner.

The justice court seat is open after Charlie Vess announced his retirement in December. Vess retired for health reasons as he was facing potential disciplinary action for his conduct with a defendant in his court.

The Mississippi Supreme Court fined Vess $1,100 and suspended him for 30 days without pay, but did not remove Vess from office as he had anticipated. He has suggested he would consider running for the position again.

Hyde Carby, who was appointed by the Adams County Board of Supervisors, has been filling in as interim justice court judge.

With a special election already scheduled, former prosecuting attorney Barret Martin decided to retire effective May 31. Aisha Sanders was appointed by supervisors to serve in the interim.

Fletcher, the incumbent, decided to not seek the election commissioner position during the 2016 election. When no one else qualified, supervisors appointed Fletcher to serve as interim until the special election.

Walker said Fletcher has since decided to run to continue to be the District 5 Election Commissioner.

Gardner said the only county-wide election would be County Prosecuting Attorney. Districts 1 and 2 and parts of Districts 3 and 5 will elect the Southern District Justice Court Judge and District 5 would vote for the election commissioner.

Gardner said to qualify, a person must live in the respective district of the position. Gardner said a law degree is not required to serve as justice court judge, but the county prosecuting attorney would have to be a practicing attorney.

Gardner said the District 1 voting precinct that used to be at Mississippi Auto Direct would instead be in the central court of the Natchez Mall starting with this election.