Cheikh Taylor reacts after hearing voting results at the courthouse annex Tuesday night. Taylor won the special election Tuesday to replace former Rep. Tyrone Ellis as District 38 state representative. Photo by: Luisa Porter/Dispatch Staff
November 8, 2017 10:50:31 AM
The contents of this article have been modified since its original posting.
Cheikh A. Taylor won the special election Tuesday to replace former Rep. Tyrone Ellis as District 38 state representative.
Across District 38, which includes portions of Clay, Lowndes and Oktibbeha counties, Taylor received 2,720 votes, or 60.15 percent. Taylor is the executive director of the nonprofit Brickfire Project, which focuses on after school and child care services.
Former Starkville Ward 2 Alderman Lisa Wynn garnered 1,222 votes. Narissa Bradford, an ex-fashion model turned community activist, got a combined 580 votes. Tuesday's total does not include affidavit ballots, but there aren't enough to force the race to a runoff.
In Oktibbeha County, Taylor drew 2,590 votes, or 59.66 percent. Wynn got 1,171 votes, while Narissa Bradford got 560 votes.
In Lowndes County, Taylor received 56 votes; Wynn received 12; and Bradford received 11. In Clay County, Taylor got 74 votes; Wynn got 39; and Bradford got 10.
Taylor could not be reached for comment by press time.
Ellis retired this summer, in the middle of his current term, after almost 40 years in office.
Oktibbeha County voters will return to the polls in three weeks to decide the winners of two runoff races after Tuesday's round of special elections.
Both the chancery and circuit clerk races will have runoff elections. Both elections had large candidate fields, with six candidates competing for the chancery clerk position and five vying for circuit clerk.
Runoffs are set for Nov. 28.
Sharon Livingston, who drew 3,396 votes (36.66 percent), will face Martesa Bishop Flowers for chancery clerk. Livingston has worked as the interim chancery clerk since Oct. 2016, after former clerk Monica Banks died from an extended illness.
Flowers, a contract and grant specialist at Mississippi State University, drew 2,885 votes, or 31.14 percent.
Tina M. Fisher received 1,498 votes, Barbara A. Mitchell drew 993 votes, Monique Jordan got 377 votes and Hattie "Tutton" Ridgel drew 96 votes to round out that race.
"I'm excited," Livingston said. "This is kind of what we anticipated -- that we would be in a runoff. We're going to start fresh and hit the campaign trail again."
Flowers thanked her supporters and her team for the work they did in garnering in the campaign. She said she's looking forward to the runoff and hopes to serve and make Oktibbeha County a better place.
"I'm humbled and excited by the support that's been shown to me," Flowers said. "I'm excited. My supporters are excited. We're ready to bring about change for a different direction under a leader who's accountable."
In the circuit clerk race, Teresa Davis will advance to a runoff against Tony Rook.
Davis, who works with Mississippi State University's receiving and property control division got 3,577 votes, or 38.06 percent. She sought the seat in 2011, but lost to former circuit clerk Glenn Hamilton by about 1,000 votes.
Rook, who currently serves as Starkville's municipal court clerk, got 3,447 votes, or 36.67 percent.
Sheryl Elmore received 1,125 votes, Elaine Boykin Turner got 801 votes and Stephanie Morgan Snyder got 437 votes for circuit clerk.
"I'm excited about the numbers," Davis said. "I look forward to the runoff and I ask my supporters to come out on Nov. 28 so we can finish this race."
Rook, who said he asks voters to consider the candidates' experience ahead of the runoff, was pleased with Tuesday's results and is looking forward to the runoff.
"The results are what I expected, especially when you have five candidates running in a race,"
Rook said. "I want to thank my family, friends and supporters for all their hard work. I'd like to congratulate all the candidates for a very well-run and positive race,."
Shank Phelps defeated Joe Mores in the District 1 Constable race. Phelps got 2,319 votes, or 64.69 percent, while Morse garnered 1,255, or 35.01 percent.
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