LIBERTY — In Amite County, there will be a runoff in circuit clerk and three supervisors races, according to unofficial returns Tuesday night that included absentee ballots.
For circuit clerk, Celeste Bell McIntyre led with 1,430 votes (44 percent), followed by Barbara McDonald with 955 votes (29 percent). Lisa Sullivan was a close third with 893 votes.
McIntyre attributed her strong lead to “a lot of help.”
“My family has really pushed for me,” she said. “We kicked off and just started knocking on doors. that’s the main thing. Just reaching out to people who can reach out to people.”
McIntyre decided to run in 2017 when she learned Circuit Clerk Debbie Kirkland planned to retire. She said she was motivated by her family history, which included a grandfather, Benoyd Bell, who was a former mayor of Gloster, and another grandfather, Tom Foster, who was a longtime Gloster police officer.
“I was born and raised here and love this county. It;s in my blood,” McIntyre said.
Her strategy going forward toward the Aug. 27 runoff is to “get out there and talk to as many people as I can. I’ve got a team of people who are helping me and they are going to help me some more.”
Tax Assessor/Collector Eunice Blake held off a challenge from Sue Whittington, winning with 2,364 (69 percent) to Whittington’s 1,073 votes.
Blake said she won because “I guess the way I treat people, talk to them, handle their business.”
“I had other people helping me go door to door, passing out signs and flyers,” said Blake, who will be entering her third term in office. “I wanted to continue to serve the people for a few more years When you enjoy what you do you don’t mind coming to work.”
Sheriff Tim Wroten held on to his position with a commanding lead of 2,906 votes (86 percent) to Wesley Paul Sterling’s 474 votes.
In District 1, incumbent Supervisor Warren Leake led a field of three, with 299 votes (35 percent) and will face a runoff with Jeff Freeman, who received 277 votes (33 percent). Ronald Dale Sterling followed closely with 267 votes.
In District 2, Guy McNabb led a crowded field with 297 votes (38 percent). He will face a runoff with Edward J. Perry Jr., who received 176 votes (23 percent).
In District 3, Robert “Cash” Spillman led with 318 votes (44 percent) and will face Racheal Davis in a runoff. She received 222 votes (31 percent). Albert “Oop” White garnered 172 votes. The winner will face incumbent Jackie Whittington in the November general election.
In District 4, incumbent Melvin “Butch” Graves was unopposed in the Democratic primary and Steve Brady was unopposed in the Republican primary. they will face off in November.
District 5 was nail-bitingly close, with incumbent Rickie L. Williams Jr. apparently squeaking by with 347 votes (50.14 percent) over Tony Patterson’s 344 votes. However, there are nine affidavit votes that will be examined on Wednesday. The winner faces former supervisor Max Lawson.
In other races, incumbent Northern District Justice Court Judge Roger Arnold won with 1,242 votes (78 percent) over Letoria Wilson-Pipes, who had 354 votes.
In the Justice County Judge Southern District gloria Perry defeated Laura A. Graves 104 votes (61 percent) to 668 votes.
Unopposed candidates were Chancery Clerk jana Causey, Coroner William “Cam” Sharp, Northern District Constable Murry Toney and Southern District Constable jerry “Bruce” Bates.
Almost all county candidates ran as Democrats.
The voter turnout was 46 percent, which election officials said was surprisingly low.