Lowndes sheriff candidate Eddie Hawkins and Lowndes supervisor candidate Trip Hairston look at election results as the precincts are counted Tuesday night at the Lowndes County Courthouse. Hawkins and Hairston both won their respective races by comfortable majorities. Photo by: Jennifer Mosbrucker/Dispatch Staff
Harry Sanders jokes with Steve Pyle as they peek at election results in the press boxes Tuesday night at the Lowndes County Courthouse. Sanders defeated Pyle with 59 percent of the votes. After looking at the numbers, which were not yet fully reported, the two shook hands.
Photo by: Jennifer Mosbrucker/Dispatch Staff
Cindy Egger Goode
November 6, 2019 10:37:23 AM
The contents of this article have been modified since its original posting.
Trip Hairston knows about politics, but he had never been an elected official before Tuesday night.
The son of a former Lowndes County administrator spent 1995-2000 as a budget analyst for the Mississippi Legislature in Jackson. Now he's the newly elected Lowndes County supervisor for District 2.
"It's an honor," Hairston said in the courthouse Tuesday after results in his race became clear. "... We've got a lot of good things going in the county, and we need to keep pushing that momentum forward."
Hairston, a Republican, easily defeated Democratic challenger Oliver Miller by a 2,384-1,266 margin in Tuesday's general election. He will replace two-term supervisor Bill Brigham who decided not to seek re-election.
Otherwise, when Hairston joins the board of supervisors in January, he will be the only member who is not an incumbent.
Longtime District 1 supervisor and board president Harry Sanders, a Republican, fended off a challenge from independent Steve Pyle by a 2,218 -1,501 margin Tuesday. Meanwhile Republican John Holliman bested Democrat Tim Heard, 2,977-886, in District 3 and nine-term incumbent Leroy Brooks defeated former Columbus councilman Marty Turner by a 2,224-784 margin.
Those totals include poll votes and absentee ballots. A marginal number of affidavits must be processed today but won't affect the outcome of any local election.
Jeff Smith, who represents District 4, ran unopposed.
"I believe I can learn from all those guys who have so much experience," Hairston said. "It's a good board. They work together very well, and I look forward to being a part of it."
Miller, speaking to The Dispatch by phone Tuesday night, said he feels good about what he accomplished in the race, despite the outcome, and he plans to seek public office again.
"I did all I can do, and that's all I can say," Miller said. "It's the first time I've ever done anything like this, so I learned a lot. ... I don't intend to quit."
Though Sanders ultimately won the District 1 race comfortably, his was the most competitive of the four supervisor races. He singularly credited his own record, and his opponent's campaign efforts, for the outcome.
"It's been a long election from March until now," he said. "It's been tough. My opponent worked real hard, and he forced me to work real hard. ... Being in politics for 20 you have to make decisions that are undoubtedly going to make some people mad. I feel like some people may have wanted younger blood in there. But in the end, experience matters."
Pyle said he is humbled by all the support he received and hope it encourages more candidates not to fear running against incumbents. As for his political career, though, it's over.
"I felt it was the right time for me to present my ideas, and this was my best chance to do that," he said.
"I'm done. I won't do it again," he added, laughing.
Republican Eddie Hawkins cruised to victory in the Lowndes County sheriff's race, defeating independent Anthony Nelson by a 10,321-5,681 margin. The Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics agent will replace Mike Arledge, who opted not to seek re-election.
Cindy Egger Goode, another Republican, won the chancery clerk's race by a 10,221-7,273 margin over Ward 2 Columbus councilman Joseph Mickens, a Democrat. Goode will replace longtime clerk Lisa Younger Neese, who decided not to run.
Incumbent Democrat Greg Andrews was easily re-elected, as he beat Republican Sherman Vaughn 12,670-4,846.
For county prosecuting attorney, Republican Steve Wallace defeated Democrat William Starks, 9,146-8,330.
Constables, legislative races
Two local constable races were decided Tuesday, with Republican Chris Griffin defeating Democrat Jason "Jake" Humbers, 3,883-2,733, in District 1. Democrat Joe Ables Jr. beat Republican Spence Wallingford, 3,486-2,346 in District 2. Sonny Sanders, a Democrat, ran unopposed in District 3.
In competitive legislative races Tuesday night, incumbent Republican Gary Chism defeated Libertarian Vicky Rose 5,920-1,646, to hold his District 37 House seat. That district includes part of Lowndes, Oktibbeha and Clay counties.
Chuck Younger, another Republican, received 11,303 votes to hold off Democratic challenger DeWanna Belton (5,423 votes) and Libertarian Danny Bedwell (397 votes) in the District 17 Senate race. That district includes parts of Lowndes and Monroe counties.
Zack Plair is the managing editor for The Dispatch.
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