By CARL SMITH
Angela Turner Lairy, the daughter of former Miss. Sen. Bennie Turner, will follow in her father’s steps after defeating West Point resident Kenny Fowler in the Miss. Senate District 16 Special Election Tuesday.
Unofficial results as of press time had Turner Lairy, a Democrat, beating her opponent 4,325-1,716.
District 16 reaches across all of Clay County and portions of Oktibbeha, Lowndes and Noxubee counties. The seat became vacant when Turner died in November.
Rain and cold temperatures kept many voters away from the polls Tuesday, but Turner Lairy racked up commanding tallies in each county.
By 8:20 p.m., Lowndes County Circuit Clerk Mahala N. “Haley” Salazar reported Turner Lairy won that county by a 555-24 margin. Of the 6,168 registered District 16 voters in Lowndes County, only 9.44 percent of residents cast ballots in the election. Voter turnout percentages from the other three counties were unavailable as of press time.
In Oktibbeha County, Turner Lairy earned 875 votes, while Fowler received 187. Only 23 Noxubee County voters cast ballots for Fowler, while that county’s circuit clerk’s office reported 387 ballots were cast for Turner Lairy as of press time.
In Clay County, where a majority of Tuesday’s ballots were cast, Turner Lairy received 2,508 votes, while Fowler earned 1,482.
When she qualified for the race, Turner Lairy said she would work diligently in all legislative areas she’s appointed to serve if elected.
Turner Lairy was not available for comment as of press time.
“I’m willing to go down there to Jackson if elected and do the work. I also understand that, if elected, I will be new to the position, so that will require a lot of hard work and determination on my part, but I’m willing to get there and familiarize myself with the issues, listen to the people and make an informed decision based on the information that is presented before me,” she said when announcing her qualification.
“As a resident of the state of Mississippi and also Senate District 16, we all know the impact of financial issues and government spending. Again, those are issues I’m making myself available to become familiar with and to make an informed decision if presented with the opportunity to cast a vote on a particular piece of legislation,” she added. “Most importantly, none of what I am willing to do can be accomplished without the support of the community.”
Turner Lairy previously told The Daily Times Leader she would step down from her current posts as prosecutor for West Point and Clay County if elected.