By Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Bobby Smith cinched a fourth term on the Lee County Board of Supervisors, soundly beating his sole opponent in Tuesday’s primary race.
The Republican incumbent took 69 percent of the votes against GOP challenger Paul Turner.
“We’re just obviously very excited about the turnout and the response we’ve gotten,” Smith said by phone after the votes were counted. “We’re grateful for the opportunity they’ve given us to serve them. That’s been our mission from the start – to serve the people of Lee County.”
All but one other seat on the five-member board is a given – District 4 Supervisor Tommy Lee Ivy drew no opponents on either side of the aisle. Three other races will go to the next round.
Democrat Billy Joe Holland won a plurality of the votes – 40 percent – in the District 5 race against incumbent Joe McKinney and another challenger, Ken Dye. But Holland didn’t earn enough support to avoid a runoff.
He and McKinney, who got 38 percent, will face off in the Aug. 23 runoff. With no District 5 Republican opponents to battle in the November general election, the runoff winner will take the seat.
In District 1, longtime incumbent Phil Morgan trounced two first-time GOP opponents with 73 percent of the votes. He’ll now meet Democratic challenger Kevin “Scott” Russell Hurt in the Nov. 2 general election.
Also facing a general election contest is District 3 Supervisor Darrell Rankin. Neither he nor his Democratic opponent Larry McCord had primary competition.