1st District race still on; Aberdeen and Glen choose city officials
By Marty Russell
A candidate in the 1st District U.S. House of Representatives race who earlier tried to withdraw now says he is likely to accept the nomination if elected as voters go to the polls Tuesday to select a winner in that race and in municipal elections in Glen and Aberdeen.
There will be a Democratic runoff in the 1st District congressional race even though candidate Talmadge Littlejohn tried to withdraw after the first primary. Littlejohn placed second in the field of three Democrats vying to challenge Republican incumbent Roger Wicker of Tupelo, who is in his first term.
Henry Boyd Jr. of Holly Springs garnered the most votes in the first primary, edging out Littlejohn by about 300 votes.
Littlejohn, a New Albany attorney, announced the week after the primary that he was withdrawing from the race, citing a distaste for fund-raising and personal obligations. But the secretary of state’s office ruled Monday that the election would go on because ballots had been printed and absentee votes had already been cast.
Late last week, Littlejohn issued a statement indicating he likely would accept the nomination if elected Tuesday.
“If I am chosen I will sincerely and prayerfully reevaluate my position,” Littlejohn said of his decision to withdraw. “If it is the Lord’s will I will accept the nomination and I will serve if elected.”
Attempt to confuse voters?
Boyd, a paralegal with North Mississippi Rural Legal Services, said he believed Littlejohn’s withdrawal and reconsideration was just an attempt to confuse people into believing that Boyd was unopposed so his voters wouldn’t bother to turn out.
“That’s his prerogative to confuse people,” Boyd said of his opponent. “A lot of people are saying Mr. Littlejohn is not serious about the race.”
Neither candidate has raised enough money to require them to file financial disclosure statements, and both have said they are using their own funds.
While Boyd has run an anti-Republican Contract With America campaign saying it doesn’t address the needs of the working class and poor, Littlejohn, in his statement released this week, seized on many GOP themes, saying he supports tax cuts, school prayer and tougher penalties on crime while opposing abortion and gays in the military.
The winner of Tuesday’s primary will advance to the Nov. 5 general election to face Wicker. Only voters who cast ballots as Democrats in the first primary are eligible to vote in the runoff in the 24 counties that comprise the district.
Aberdeen, Glen voting
Municipal elections will also take place Tuesday in two Northeast Mississippi communities. In Aberdeen, the elections represent the first primary. Any runoffs in those races would take place on April 16 with the general election on May 7.
Voters will go to the polls in Aberdeen to select city government officials. On the ballot for mayor are R.W. “Bob” Seymour and William M. Tisdale after incumbent Don Brasfield decided to run for the Ward 4 alderman post instead.
The other races in Aberdeen include:
Alderman, Ward 1: Wilchie Clay and Alonzo Sykes.
Alderman, Ward 2: Tom Allmond, Cloyd E. Garth Sr., John Ray Hamilton and Felix West.
Alderman, Ward 3: Willie A. Cook, R.O. “Bob” Kelly and Bob Patterson.
Alderman, Ward 4: Brasfield, James E. “Eddie” Arnold, Allie L. “Al” Clemons, Robert E. Hawkins and Dee Riley.
Alderman, Ward 5: Madies R. Conner, Edward Haynes Jr. and Kelly Tucker.
In the town of Glen in Alcorn County, voters will cast ballots in a special election to fill two unexpired terms. In the mayoral race, John Tutor Sr. and Judith Lowery will compete. John Peebles Sr. is unopposed for an alderman post.