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General election results in Union County

It was a better election turn-out than some had expected.

Of the 16,263 people registered to vote in Union County 7,369 — 45 percent — voted in the general election Tuesday. Not a great turnout, but better than expected given that there were no really exciting state-wide races on the ballot.

Only the office of attorney-general was an interesting contest. Three-term Democrat Jim Hood was challenged by a well-financed young Republican named Mike Hurst. With 80 percent of the state-wide vote counted, Hood had 56 percent of the vote with 44 percent for Hurst and had been declared the winner by statewide news sources.

It was closer in Union County. Hood had 3,640 votes –50.63 percent — to 49.35 percent for Hurst. The Union County Republicans had made an exceptionally strong effort this year, and there were more Democrat vs. Republican races on the local ballot than since Reconstruction in the 1870s.

With all the votes counted except 400 absentee ballots, incumbent Union County Chancery Clerk Annette Hickey remained the only Republican Union County office holder. Hickey took 85 percent of the vote, easily defeating Democrat Andrea Herring.

Incumbent Sheriff Jimmy Edwards won 77 percent of the vote, easily defeating a Republican.

Incumbent Democrat Union County Superintendent of Schools, Ken Basil, took 62 percent of the vote, which really made little difference. Basil’s Republican opponent Roger Browning had been disqualified by a decision of the Mississippi Supreme Court, because he did not live in the school district and was not, by-law, qualified to serve. The court’s decision came too late to remove Browning’s name from the ballot, so none of the ballots cast for him counted.  Democrat Circuit Clerk, Democrat Phyllis Stanford and Democrat Tax Assessor/Collector Randy Dunham had no Republican opponents.

However, the large courtroom on the second floor of the Union County Courthouse was nearly full, so the Republicans can be credited for making the election more interesting.

In the race for Supervisor, District One. Independent candidate Paul Patterson got 424 votes compared to 363 for Republican Marshall McLaughlin. Democrat Evan Denton was the winner with 42 percent of the vote in the winner-take-all general election. Go figure.

See the unofficial Union County totals…Union Co. Unofficial election results Nov. 2015

 

Election night at a Mississippi courthouse a half century ago:

Three hours before the polls closed at 7 pm, the available parking around the courthouse started to fill up, and a crowd gathered on the courthouse lawn. A large chalk board had been erected in front of the courthouse.

As the returns started to trickle in around 8 p.m., men stood on ladders to write on the chalk board the results for each candidate from each precinct. People visited, drank soda pop and ate pork rinds and boiled peanuts. A few drank beer and other more spirited refreshments from bottles “concealed” in small brown paper bags. More than a few had had a few.

There was at least one heated argument between the partisans for two different sheriff candidates. It did not come to blows, so there was no memorable brawl.

The argument was between two competitive bootleggers. In those days Mississippi sheriffs controlled what might be considered “franchises” for the sale of illegal whiskey that was bought in New Orleans or Memphis and sold at a healthy mark up in dry Mississippi counties. The sheriff would receive a “tax” on each bottle sold, paid to him directly and in cash by the bootlegger.

There were, of course, no Republicans on the state election ballot in the 1960s. We saw no brown bags, nobody drunk, no heated arguments at the Union County Courthouse Tuesday night.

Has Mississippi politics become more civilized or simply more boring?

 

MISSISSIPPI STATE-WIDE RACES:

Results were updated until a winner was declared:

Governor

  • (R) Bryant   193327     68%    winner (48% reporting)
  • (D) Gray       87882     31%

Lieutenant Governor

  • (R) Reeves    170881    62%   winner (48% reporting)
  • (D) Johnson   94767   34%

Attorney General  

  • (D) Hood       354702    56%   winner (94% reporting)
  • (R) Hurst       281627    44%

Auditor

  • (R) Pickering   180884     66%   winner (48% reportint)
  • (D) Pritchett     90584     33%

Public  Service Commissioner

  • (D) Presley         86007    59%  Winner (68% reporting)
  • (R) Maynard      60270    41%

Secretary of State

  • (R) Hoseman    79402     61 %    winner (48% reporting)
  • (D) Graham       46356      36%

Transportation Commissioner Northern District

  • (R) Tagert         37628        67%  winner (48% reporting)
  • (D) Woods         18659        33%

Initiative 42 Statewide (with 65% reporting)

  • Against        325638     52%   Winner (95% reporting)
  • For                298781    48%
  • 42                  222067   58%    Winner (95% reporting)
  • 42A                163686   42%

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