Livingston wins chancery clerk runoff

Sharon Livingston hugs her friend Tamera Johnson after hearing the unofficial results of the chancery clerk runoff election at the Okttibeha County Circuit Court Tuesday night. (Photo by Logan Kirkland, SDN)
Staff Writer

Following unofficial results from the runoff election Tuesday, interim Chancery Clerk Sharon Livingston will serve as Oktibbeha County Chancery Clerk.

Livingston won the race with 54.6 percent of the vote (3,148 votes) compared to Martesa Bishop Flowers’ 45.37 percent (2,616 votes). Two write-in votes were also counted.

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 fewer registered voters cast votes in the chancery clerk race than in the circuit clerk race.

Livingston has worked in the Oktibbeha County Chancery Court for 18 years, and has served as interim chancery clerk since the death of longtime Oktibbeha County Chancery Clerk Monica Banks in September 2016. She was born in Pennsylvania and has lived in Starkville since age five. She is an alumna of Starkville High School.

“I’m just ecstatic,” Livingston said. “I just want to thank Oktibbeha County, all of my supporters, my girls, my family, my husband, everyone.”

Livingston also thanked Banks’ family for their support.

She said there were many aspects of the office she hoped to improve or change, but she would rest for a few days before starting to move forward.

“I’m just going to take a little relaxation this week, and then we’re going to hit it full-force Monday, and just start doing what we’ve got to do in the office,” Livingston said.

Livingston was unsure when she would officially be sworn in as chancery clerk.

Flowers, a contracts and grants specialist at Mississippi State University, thanked her supporters.

“We ran a strong race, and I’d like to congratulate Ms. Sharon for a successful campaign,” Flowers said.

Flowers said she had no intentions of seeking political office in the short term, but wasn’t completely opposed to the idea in the future.

“I guess that would still be in the air,” Flowers said. "I’m just going to continue working and continue being a part of the community.”

In the Nov. 7 special election, Livingston finished with 37 percent of the vote (3,396 votes), while Flowers came in with 31 percent (2,885 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.