January 9, 2017 10:51:33 AM
Carl Smith - firstname.lastname@example.org
Four candidates have qualified for November's special election for Oktibbeha County's chancery clerk position.
A Democratic Primary and a General Election are required as three Democrats and one Republican filed qualifying statements of intent with the circuit clerk's office last week.
Martesa Flowers, Margaret Jordan and interim Chancery Clerk Sharon Livingston are running as Democrats, and Barbara Mitchell is running as a Republican.
The primary is scheduled for Aug. 8, and the General Election will be on Nov. 7.
A runoff in the Democratic Primary could be held on Aug. 29 if the winner of the primary election fails to secure more than 50 percent of the vote. If the current field holds, the winner of the primary would face Mitchell in November.
Flowers, 35, is a contract and grant specialist at Mississippi State University. She previously worked for about a year and a half as an accounting assistant and payroll clerk for the city of Starkville.
Jordan, 49, has 21 years of work experience as an educator. Currently, she is an eighth-grade science teacher at Armstrong Middle School.
Livingston, 49, was named interim clerk after 58-year-old Monica Banks, who was Oktibbeha County's first African-American elected to a countywide office, died in September after an extended illness. Livingston has worked in the chancery clerk's office since 2000 and previously served as a deputy clerk over land records.
Mitchell, 68, is Oktibbeha County Youth Court's intake clerk, a part-time paralegal and the co-director of the Oktibbeha County Baptist Association. She previously spent 33 years as the paralegal and office manager of the Brown Law Firm.
Jordan, Livingston and Mitchell all filed their forms Tuesday, the first day of qualification, while Bishop filed Wednesday. No other candidates had qualified by noon Friday when the Oktibbeha County Circuit Court Annex closed early due to wintry conditions.
The qualifying period for the chancery clerk's race runs through March 3.
To qualify, a candidate must be a resident of Oktibbeha County, at least 18 years of age and hold a high school diploma or its equivalent. There is a $100 qualifying fee.
The chancery clerk's salary is fee-based and set by statute not to exceed $90,000 annually.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Dispatch reporter Carl Smith is the son-in-law of Jackson Brown, the Oktibbeha County Board of Supervisors' attorney and former employer of Barbara Mitchell.
Carl Smith covers Starkville and Oktibbeha County for The Dispatch. Follow him on Twitter @StarkDispatch