August 24, 2011 12:25:00 PM
Leading up to the primary runoff, Lowndes County sheriff''s candidate Bo Harris was banking on getting voters to return to the polls.
He said that would be key in the election.
When the polls closed Tuesday night, less than a quarter of the voters had cast ballots in the primary runoffs. And Harris had garnered 44.67 percent of the vote to Mike Arledge''s 55.32 percent.
Lowndes County''s voter turnout dropped to about 23 percent from about 36 percent in the initial runoff, a trend yet to be broken.
Turnout usually is low for primaries and runoffs and especially low for primary runoffs. Numbers tend to come up for general elections.
It was Harris'' second bid for sheriff. He retired from his post as game warden with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks four years ago to run against Sheriff Butch Howard, who is retiring after his fourth term in office.
On Aug. 2, Arledge finished the Republican primary with 49.69 percent of the vote, not quite enough to keep from heading into a runoff with Harris, though the two knocked fellow Republicans Joey Brackin and Barry Goode out of the running.
"Second time," Harris affirmed this morning. "I don''t know whether I''ll do it again or not, but I appreciate all the support. I appreciate everybody that voted for me."
Harris stayed home Tuesday night and watched the precinct reports come in online, while a couple of supporters waited at the courthouse.
Arledge, who stepped down from his post as justice-court judge to run for sheriff, could not be reached for comment this morning.
He will face Democratic candidate Selvain McQueen in the general election. McQueen currently serves as interim police chief for the city of Columbus.
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