Courthouse incumbents win

Election workers at right are, from front, Shirley Fitzgerald, Stacee Ott, Jennifer Gatlin-Barnes, Brenda Williams.

Pike County voters showed their satisfaction with the courthouse staff by returning all the incumbents there to office: Circuit Clerk Roger Graves, Chancery Clerk Becky Buie and Tax Assessor Laurie Allen. All are Republicans.

Tax Collector Gwen Nunnery, a Democrat, won re-election in the primary.

Pike County saw a 52.5 percent voter turnout.

Graves defeated challenger Johnny Scott 6,929 votes (55 percent) to 5,754, winning a possibly unprecedented ninth term in office.

“I’m humbled and I’m very excited and I just really appreciate the voters of the county and their trust and faith in me, and I’m so indebted to them and I want to serve them with all that I have for the next years,” Graves said.

“Even though it’s the ninth term, I feel like it’s the first term. I enjoy what I do so much, helping people.”

The win was a vote of confidence in what he’s been doing for decades.

“I do the best I can with everybody,” Graves said. “I am who I am. I’m real, and I love helping people, I really do — being there for people, and knowing they’ve got someone they can talk to.”

Graves ran as a Republican but said a job like his isn’t partisan.

“I don’t even think I should run under a party because I serve both sides,” he said.

“I wish I could run nonpartisan like the judges do. I serve both sides.”

Becky Buie won reelection to a second term with 6,965 votes (55 percent) to Amanda Upchurch’s 5,629.

“I was just excited and was yelling, ‘Thank you, Jesus!’ — seriously,” Buie said. “I told my husband, ‘God did it again for me,’ and that’s exactly how I feel.

“It was a great experience and I love going door to door, I really do. I think that really helped me.”

However, she said, “you just never know till the votes are counted.”

Buie is planning to proceed with such tasks as reorganization of the courthouse basement, which is full of old records, and continuing to update technology and archive records online.

“I’m looking forward to a bright four years,” she said.

Laurie Allen captured 6,591 votes (52 percent) to stave off a challenge from Angela Simmons, who received 6,053 votes.

“I attribute my win first to God. I believe His will for me is to be exactly where I am,” Allen said.

“Second, what helped me win, I believe, is that I think — I hope — the people I’ve served from the counter and interacted with in this county can see my love for people, all people. And I hope they see a servant’s heart in me,” Allen said.

“If there’s to be a legacy to my administration, I hope it will be that.

“Third, my plans are to continue growing personally and professionally, for my office to grow more in technology and education, and to continue my own drive for more education.”

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