So close but so far away.
About a hundred affidavit ballots brought Mike Arledge up to 49.69 percent of the vote (4,339 votes) for Lowndes County sheriff, still not quite enough to keep from heading into a runoff with Bo Harris.
The two will face off in an Aug. 23 Republican runoff. The winner there will face Democrat Selvain McQueen in November. Harris garnered 35.99 percent of the vote (3,143 votes).
“Mike Arledge lacked 23 votes to avoid going into a runoff,” Lowndes County Circuit Clerk Haley Salazar said this morning. “I have seen races before where it was pretty tight into the runoff.”
Lowndes County”s results already have been certified. Normally, area counties have official certified results within days.
“When we certified with the parties (Wednesday), everything checked out,” said Salazar. “I was very pleased. We had a very good election — no major problems at all.”
Voter turnout in Lowndes County was slightly higher in this year”s primary than in 2007.
In 2007 turnout, 12,989 ballots were cast; 14,671 (36.59 percent) were cast on Tuesday.
“We just want to encourage people to get back out and participate in the runoff, because that”s an important part of the process,” Salazar said. “Typically, we drop to about 10 percent (voter turnout) for the runoff.”
In Lowndes County, along with the sheriff”s runoff, Republican candidates for superintendent of education Edna McGill and Lynn Wright will meet in a runoff. The winner will face Democrat Cliff Reynolds and independents Rusty Greene and Roger Hill.
In state elections, there is a runoff in the Republican primary for state treasurer and the Democratic primary for governor.
For the runoff, voters cannot cross party lines; they have to vote in the same party as they did in the initial primary.
In Noxubee County, it will be at least next week before ballots are certified.
The U.S. Department of Justice sent observers to the primaries in Noxubee County and 10 other Mississippi counties, including Clay, this year.
Noxubee County had a national spotlight beginning 2007, when federal court charged Ike Brown, head of the county”s Democratic Party, with trying to keep white voters from voting in the county”s Democratic primaries, which, for Noxubee County, decide the local races.
Former Supreme Court Justice Reuben Anderson was appointed superintendent of elections for Noxubee County until November. Anderson has decided to wait until Tuesday to count absentee ballots.
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