Brookhaven attorney Jason Barrett became Southwest Mississippi’s newest senator after winning a special election runoff against Bank of Brookhaven chairman Bill Sones Tuesday.
The nonpartisan election for Senate District 39, which includes parts of Lincoln, Walthall, Lawrence and Copiah counties, saw a field of nine candidates run in September to fill former Sen. Sally Doty’s vacated seat.
Sones finished first in the Sept. 22 election, winning Lincoln County and beating Barrett by 95 votes across the district.
However, Barrett carried all three of the district’s other counties in the first round of voting, and they also proved key to his victory Tuesday.
In Tuesday’s runoff, Barrett received a total of 4,874 votes (57%) in the district, while Sones received 3,694 votes, according to unofficial and uncertified results from the district’s four county circuit clerk’s offices.
In the runoff, Sones still carried Lincoln County, the most populous in the district, with votes from there accounting for 85% of his total. But with a narrowed field, Barrett closed the gap in Lincoln County and multiplied his leads elsewhere to win.
Sones received 3,148 votes (54%) in Lincoln County to Barrett’s 2,659.
Barrett’s widest margin remained in Lawrence County, where he received 1,673 votes (86%), while Sones received 283.
In Walthall County, Barrett turned an 8% lead from September into a 44% lead, although voter turnout there was down in the runoff. Barrett received 265 votes (72%), while Sones received 105.
Barrett also kept his lead in Copiah County in the runoff. He received 277 votes (64%) to Sones’ 158.