By Alyssa Schnugg
The Lafayette County Board of Supervisors will have two new faces and three familiar faces sitting on the board come January after Tuesday’s general election.
Three incumbents – District 3 Supervisor David Rikard, District 4 Supervisor Chad Mclarty and District 5 Supervisor Mike Roberts all won their elections Tuesday in close races.
In District 3, Rikard won by just 43 votes over his opponents, Democrat Dale Timothy Gordon who garnered 1,834 votes and Independent candidate LaKeisha Borum who earned 185 votes. Rikard won with 1,877 votes.
Mclarty, a Democrat, won with 1,854 votes over Republican Derek Mooney who received 1,337 votes.
Roberts, who ran as a Democrat, retained his seat by 198 votes. He received 968 votes while his Republican opponent Johnny Mike Fortner received 770 votes.
Roberts said he was thankful and “humbled” by the support he’s received in the election.
“I will never be able to explain how blessed I am to have friends and family that work so hard to support me,” he said this morning. “While working the different polls yesterday I had the chance to hear a lot of your concerns and suggestions for improvements and I pledge to you all to give all I have to make those changes and improve.”
Roberts also believes the close races are due to those who only vote party lines, rather than who is the best candidate.
“Supervisors should be bi-partisan races,” he said. “The little letter after your name shouldn’t come into play for a county supervisor.”
In District 1, Brent Larson will take over the seat left open by former supervisor Kevin Frye who ran in the Mississippi Senate District 9 race against Republican Nicole Atkins Boyd, who won the election.
Larson, who ran as a Democrat, earned 1,675 votes against Republican candidate Adam Clay who garnered 1,169 votes.
“To the citizens of District 1, I want to express my heartfelt appreciation for your votes and support during my campaign for Supervisor,” Larson said this morning. “And to my family and friends, this journey could not have been possible without your unwavering encouragement and guidance. I look forward to working with everyone to improve our already great community.”
Republican candidate for District 2 Larry Gillespie won the election against Democratic candidate Joshua McGlawn. Gillespie earned 1,848 votes while McGlawn received 1,718 votes, a difference of 130 votes. The seat was left open when Supervisor Jeff Busby announced he would not be seeking re-election and ran for Circuit Court Clerk, which he won after the August primary election.
About 51 percent of the registered voters in Lafayette County came out to the polls on Tuesday. The turnout was on par with turnout numbers in the past.
Voters also decided to keep Justice Court Judge Carolyn Pettis on the bench. She won with 3, 151 votes against Republican candidate Andy Arant who earned 2,997 votes.
In 2018, there was a 53 percent voter turnout and in 2016, the last presidential election – which generally sees the largest turnout – was about 60 percent.
Incumbents with no opponents:
Chancery Clerk: Sherry Wall
County Attorney: Jay Chain
Coroner: Rocky Kennedy
Justice Court Judge Southern: Johnny Wayne McLarty
Justice Court Judge Central: Mickey Avent
Constable Northern: Greg “Spankey” Pettis
Constable Central: Jody Mayfield
Constable Southern: Jack E. Theobald
Races decided in primary/run-off elections:
Circuit Clerk: Jeff Busby
Tax Assessor/Collector: Sylvia Baker
Coroner: Rocky Kennedy