By BRIAN HAWKINS
All incumbent members of the Oktibbeha County Board of Supervisors, all current Justice Court judges and at least four current countywide and county district office-holders are seeking reelection during this year’s statewide and countywide elections.
Candidate qualifying for the 2011 state and county elections began Monday, though qualifying for countywide and county district offices did not begin locally until Tuesday due to the extended New Year’s holiday weekend.
Seventeen candidates qualified in Democratic and Republican primary races for countywide and country district offices on Tuesday, including the following (incumbents noted with an “I” in parentheses):
• Debbie Carrithers, Democrat, tax assessor/collector.
• William “Tony” Boykin, Democrat, Justice Court judge, District 1 (I).
• Sheila Lang, Democrat, District 5 supervisor.
• Charles Sanders, Democrat, sheriff.
• James “Jim” Mills, Democrat, Justice Court judge, District 3 (I).
• W. Bernard Crump, Democrat, Justice Court judge, District 2 (I).
• Orlando Trainer, Democrat, District 2 supervisor (I).
• Dolph Bryan, Democrat, sheriff (I).
• Daniel Jackson, Democrat, District 4 supervisor (I).
• John Young, Democrat, District 5 supervisor (I).
• Carl Clardy, Democrat, District 1 supervisor (I).
• Marvell Howard, Democrat, District 3 supervisor (I).
• James Covington, Democrat, superintendent of education (I).
• Dennis Daniels Jr., Republican, District 3 supervisor (I).
• Allen Morgan, Republican, tax assessor-collector.
• Monica Banks, Democrat, chancery clerk (I).
• Curtis Randle, Democrat, constable, District 2 (I).
Prospective candidates interested in running in one of the races on the Oktibbeha County ballot can pick up or fill out the necessary qualifying documents at the Circuit Clerk’s Office at the Courthouse Annex, which is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday.
The primary election is scheduled for Aug. 2, while the general election is set for Nov. 8
Though new district lines for county district offices will also be drawn this year, the process will likely not be complete by the March 1 qualifying deadline, said Circuit Clerk Angie McGinnis on Tuesday.
After consulting the Attorney General’s Office on Tuesday, McGinnis said candidates for county supervisor, Justice Court judge or constable may qualify under the current district lines.
Once the new districts are complete and approved by the necessary federal agencies, any candidate who finds himself or herself in a different district than the one in which he or she originally qualified will automatically see his or her candidacy shifted into the new district, McGinnis learned from the Attorney General’s Office on Tuesday.
“The qualifying paperwork would be changed administratively to reflect a district changes,” McGinnis said.
All candidates for state or county office must:
• Be a registered voter in the state and the district, county or county district of the office for which they are running.
• Never have been convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment (unless having received a full pardon).
• Never have been convicted of a felony in a federal court or a felony in the court of another state as outlined in Section 44 of the Mississippi Constitution.
Countywide or county district office candidates seeking political party nomination must file a statement of intent and pay either a $10 or $15 fee (according to office) to the appropriate party executive committee via the Circuit Clerk’s Office.
Countywide candidates running as independents must submit petitions containing signatures of 50 registered voters to the Circuit C
Candidates for state district or statewide offices must qualify with the appropriate state political party office in Jackson or, if an independent candidate, with the Secretary of State’s Office in Jackson.
Races on the 2010 primary and general election ballot in Oktibbeha County include the following:
• Lieutenant governor.
• Secretary of state.
• State auditor.
• State treasurer.
• Insurance commissioner.
• Attorney general.
• Commissioner of agriculture and commerce.
• Public service commissioner.
• Transportation commissioner.
• District attorney.
• Senator (currently Senate Districts 15 and 16, but could change with redistricting)
• Representative (currently House Districts 23, 35, 37 and 38, but could change with redistricting).
• Chancery clerk.
• Circuit clerk.
• Tax assessor/collector.
• Superintendent of education.
• County prosecuting attorney.
• Justice Court judge.
• Election commissioner.
Copies of the various statements of intent for all candidates and petition forms for independent candidates are available at the Circuit Clerk’s Office.
The forms may also be downloaded from the Secretary of State’s Office website at http://www.sos.ms.gov  by clicking under the link marked “Elections.”
For additional information, contact the Circuit Clerk’s Office at 323-1356 during regular business hours or visit the Secretary of State’s Office website at the address listed above.