November 6, 2013 9:39:22 AM
Interim Oktibbeha County Prosecutor Haley Brown easily defeated two challengers during a special election Tuesday, securing almost 70 percent of countywide ballots.
Unofficially, Brown received 2,067 votes Tuesday -- about 67 percent -- compared to challengers Matthew Wilson (853) and Brace Knox (140). That total reflects numbers given by the Oktibbeha County Circuit Clerk's office Wednesday morning and includes absentee and affidavit ballots.
Election results are expected to be finalized and sent for Mississippi Secretary of State approval today or Thursday. The prosecutor's race was the only contest on the ballot Tuesday.
Brown was named interim prosecutor after Roy Carpenter Jr. ended his almost 30-year career as the city's and county's prosecutor in June. She will fill the remainder of Carpenter's term, which comes up for election again in 2015.
"I'm overwhelmed by the support I received today," Brown said after Oktibbeha County Circuit Clerk Glenn Hamilton read the final unofficial results Tuesday. "I'd like to thank my supporters and also thank my two opponents for running hard-fought, clean campaigns."
Pre-election reports showed Brown parlayed her significant campaign financing edge over her two opponents into a significant victory Tuesday. Brown outpaced Wilson, her closest financial competitor, almost 3-to-1 in campaign donations.
Election Commissioner Myles Carpenter said no major voting irregularities were reported by poll workers. Special emphasis was placed on poll worker training before the election to head off potential confusion and other issues that emerged in Starkville's municipal primaries this spring.
Following Roy Carpenter's retirement, both Starkville Police Chief David Lindley and Oktibbeha County Sheriff Steve Gladney commended the attorney and his distinguished career, saying the next official would have large shoes to fill.
Carl Smith covers Starkville and Oktibbeha County for The Dispatch. Follow him on Twitter @StarkDispatch
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