Rook defeats Davis in circuit clerk runoff

From left: Eddy McGinnis congratulates Tony Rook after the unofficial runoff election results were announced for the circuit clerk position at the Oktibbeha County Circuit Court Tuesday night. (Photo by Logan Kirkland, SDN.)
Staff Writer

Starkville Municipal Court Administrator Tony Rook will serve as the next Oktibbeha County Circuit Clerk after winning Tuesday night in a runoff against Mississippi State University Receiving Services Coordinator Teresa Davis.

Unofficial results show Rook received 51.01 percent of the vote with 2,955 votes, while Davis received 48.96 percent with 2,836 votes, not including affidavit ballots.

Interim Circuit Clerk Angie McGinnis said 38 affidavit ballots will be processed on Wednesday morning, but the total will not be enough to affect the outcome of the race.

Omitting affidavit ballots, 27 more registered voters cast votes in the circuit clerk race.

"It was a close one," Rook said. "Teresa should be congratulated. She ran a good campaign and made it a close race."

Rook said he wanted to thank all his friends, family and supporters during his campaign.

"I received a tremendous amount of support from many individuals," he said. "I especially want to thank my parents, Pete and Liz Rook, for the tremendous amount of work they did during my campaign."

Rook said he will work diligently for all residents of Oktibbeha County, and his top priority as circuit clerk is to gain public confidence in himself and the office through integrity, character and work ethic.
"The voters came out and selected their circuit court clerk," Davis said. "The voters have spoken."

Davis had no comment to whether she would run again in the future.

"I want thank all the voters who came out and exercised their voting right," Davis said.

Rook said he will most likely begin working as circuit court clerk in January after his responsibilities with his current employment are fulfilled.

McGinnis said the official date has not been set for when Rook will be sworn in to office.

Davis was initially the frontrunner in the Nov. 7 special election with 38.06 percent of the vote (3,577 votes), while Rook pulled in 36.67 percent (3,447 votes).

For vote totals, 5,793 of the 26,919 registered voters in Oktibbeha County cast ballots, bringing the turnout number to roughly 21.79 percent.