ELECTION DAY COVERAGE – Local Results here now

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Republican Alan Nunnelee unseated Democratic U.S. Rep. Travis Childers on Tuesday, reclaiming a north Mississippi seat the GOP held for 13 years before Childers grabbed it in 2008.

Nunnelee is a 16-year state senator from Tupelo, and he relentlessly tied Childers to the Democratic speaker of the U.S. House, Nancy Pelosi of California.

Childers, of Booneville, is a fiscally conservative Blue Dog Democrat who voted against Pelosi on issues such as the federal health care overhaul. But he found himself caught in a wave of anti-Washington sentiment from voters leery of federal government expansion.

North Mississippi’s 1st Congressional District is not easily identified by party labels. It voted for Republican John McCain in the 2008 presidential race.

Click here for results from 1st District Congressional race, judicial races and national elections.

Local Contested Races
Unofficial Results

Alcorn County
School Board
District 1
John Lewis 358 45%
(winner) Russ Nash 430 54%
2 of 2 precincts

Benton County
School Board
District 1
Annie Ruth Mason (i) 199 39%
Erma “Sarah” Poplar 300 60%
Precincts 1 of 1
Note: More affidavit votes to be counted.

Calhoun County
School Board
District 1
Reginald Baskin 229 78%
Antionette Holland Goins 17 5%
Tony Anthony Herrod 46 15%
5 of 10 precincts reporting
Note: No other results available tonight.

District 2
Danny Harrelson (i) 166 56%
Velvet Stovall Tillman 128 43%
5 of 10 precincts reporting
Note: No other results available tonight.

Calhoun County
Attorney
Tina Dugard Scott (interim appointed by supervisors) 1,055 52%
Benjamin Allen Suber 961 47%
5 of 10 precincts reporting
Note: No other results available tonight

Itawamba County
School Board
District 1
Eddie Hood (i) 199 20%
(unofficial winner) Tammy Palmer 486 50%
Trelvy Petty 283 29%
5 of 5 precincts

District 2
Jackie L. Nichols (i) 468 33%
(winner) Wes Pitts 940 66%
6 of 6 precincts

Lafayette County
Coroner
(winner) Otis “Rocky” Kennedy, I (i) 6,240 58%
Richard C. Shivers, I 3,140 29%
Ira “Lonnie” Weaver, I 1,235 11%
18 of 18 precincts reporting

Lee County
School Board
District 2
(winner) James P. “Jim” Bain 1,136 55%
Richard D. Hill 398 19%
Lisha Maxwell 96 4%
Lisa Wood Roberts (i) 399 19%
9 of 9 precincts reporting
Note: Machine counted ballots.

Lee County
Constable
District 1
runoff – Scotty Clark 952 17%
Jerry Duffie 776 14%
Gary “Buck” Edge 526 9%
Doug Fairley Jr. 205 3%
Darren Herring 568 10%
runoff – Joe Huckaby 1466 26%
Flossie Joyner (i) 672 12%
Dudley Owens 84 1%
William Putt 101 1%
Greg Rodgers 188 3%
20 of 20 precincts
Note: Machine counted ballots.
Marshall County
School Board
District 1
Terry Rodgers (i) 461 46%
(winner) Mark Turner 537 53%
4 of 4 precincts

District 2
(winner) Harvey L. Garrison (i) 611 53%
Raymond Spight 528 46%
5 of 5 precincts

Pontotoc County
School Board
District 1
(winner) Danny Robbins 642 55%
Rickly L. “Rick” Spencer (i) 525 45%
7 of 7 precincts

Prentiss County
Superintendent of Education
runoff – Kenneth Chism 1,426 39%
runoff – Randle Downs 2,125 13%
Rivers Stroup 716 13%
Billy D. Stroupe 1,155 21%
15 of 15 precincts
Note: Absentees have not been counted.

School Board
District 1
(winner) Jason McCoy 511 47%
Jimmy Wayne Russell 136 12%
Perry Walden (i) 434 40%
4 of 4 precincts

District 2
Rickie Davis (i) 249 17%
(winner) Shelia Johnson 474 3%
Claude Kermit Keenum 391 28%
Richard Tollison 280 20%
4 of 4 precincts

Tippah County
School Board
S. Tippah, District 1
Martin “Marty” Bruce Miskelly 215 35%
Ron Sanderson 383 64%

Referendum on recombining assessor, collector offices
For 3,212 57%
Against 2,374 42%

Tishomingo County
School Board
District 2
Jeff Allred 565 51%
Anthony L. Whirley (i) 522 48%
4 of 4 precincts reporting
Note: Several absentees left. No winner called.

Union County
School Board
District 2
(winner) Mickey Basil 419 51%
Gary G. Gray (i) 397 48%

7:53 p.m. From Regina Butler at Pontotoc Progress – Pontotoc County first two boxes being counted now. High voter turnout.

7:36 p.m.: O’Donnell loses, Rubio wins
MIKE HAMMER,Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Christine O’Donnell has been defeated in her Senate bid from Delaware. But another tea party hopeful, Marco Rubio, is the winner in Florida.

O’Donnell lost to Democrat Chris Coons in the battle for the seat that had been held by Vice President Joe Biden. She had been criticized for her lack of experience and spotty financial history, and was plagued by a videotape from years ago in which she said she “dabbled” in witchcraft.

Rubio defeated independent Gov. Charlie Crist and Democrat Kendrick Meek.

New Hampshire Republican Kelly Ayotte, in her first run for office, took the Senate seat that was held by retiring Republican Judd Gregg. Republican Richard Shelby of Alabama and Democrat Barbara Mikulski in Maryland have each won a fifth Senate term. And New Hampshire Democrat Gov. John Lynch has won a fourth term.

4:35 p.m.: Minor voting problems reported across Mississippi The Associated Press – JACKSON — Mississippi election officials reported a few minor problems Tuesday.

A machine jammed temporarily in Gulfport but was replaced.

Some Lee County precincts ran low on ballots. The circuit clerk’s office photocopied more ballots, but those might have to be counted manually rather than by machine.

Power was out for an hour and a half in one Jackson precinct, leaving people to vote on paper ballots rather than by electronic machine.

Rankin County ballots didn’t list party affiliations for Republican U.S. Rep. Gregg Harper and Democratic challenger Joel Gill. Circuit Clerk Carol Swilley says sample ballots were taped to each machine, with the parties listed.

4:19 p.m.: Here’s some information about voter turnout …

Click here for Turnout steady in early voting from the Columbus Commercial Dispatch.

Parties report few voting problems early on election day from The Commercial Appeal.

Weather a factor in voter turnout in Mississippi
EMILY WAGSTER PETTUS,Associated Press

JACKSON, Miss. — Weather appeared to be a major factor in voter turnout Tuesday, with heavy rains keeping people away from the polls even in parts of Mississippi with highly contested congressional races.

Voting was brisk in areas where the weather was fair, especially in two congressional races in which Democratic incumbents were facing tough challenges from Republican state lawmakers.

“It’s pouring down rain,” said Danny Klein, election commissioner in heavily populated DeSoto County.

DeSoto County is in northern 1st District, where Democrat Travis Childers of Booneville is trying to hold onto the U.S. House seat he first won in a May 2008 special election. He faces Republican Alan Nunnelee of Tupelo, who’s been in the state Senate 16 years. Seven independent or third-party candidates also are on the 1st District ballot.

“Unless the weather starts breaking and they start turning out, it looks like it will be slower than we anticipated,” Klein said.

Voter turn out was heavier in other parts of the district, including Lowndes County to the east, where it didn’t start raining until later in morning.

“We’re having a really good turnout,” said Circuit Clerk Mahala “Haley” Salazar said. “For a midterm election, we’re busier than we were four years ago.”

There was also a strong showing in the southern 4th District, where Democrat Gene Taylor of Bay St. Louis, who has been in Congress since 1989 and is facing Republican Steven Palazzo of Biloxi, who’s been in the state House of Representatives since 2007. One Libertarian and one Reform Party candidate also are running in the 4th District.

The turnout is heavy in coastal Harrison County, said Circuit Clerk Gayle Parker

“So far we haven’t gotten any rain. The skies are half blue. We hope the rain holds off until polls close,” she said. “If the rain is heavy, some people, especially older people, don’t come out.”

Jared Allen, a National Weather Service meteorologist, said most of Mississippi would get rain Tuesday, though it had not reached some areas in the south and northeast by midmorning.

Mississippi’s two other incumbent congressmen — Democrat Bennie Thompson of Bolton in the 2nd District and Republican Gregg Harper of Pearl in the 3rd — face opponents with significantly less campaign cash and name recognition.

Thompson, in Congress since 1993, faces Republican Bill Marcy of Vicksburg, and one Reform Party candidate. Harper, first elected in 2008, faces Democrat Joel Gill of Pickens and one Reform Party candidate.

Several north Mississippi election officials said Monday they’re seeing a higher than usual number of absentee ballots. Many attributed that to voters’ intense interest in a tight 1st District race between Childers and Nunnelee.

In DeSoto County, Deputy Circuit Clerk Marla Treadway said 1,594 absentee ballots were cast. She said 399 were cast in the 2006 congressional midterm election.

In Nunnelee’s home of Lee County, Circuit Clerk Joyce Loftin said there were between 1,000 and 1,100 absentee ballots cast.

“I think it is because of interest in the congressional race and the fact that we have a special election (for constable), one contested circuit judge’s and Court of Appeals,” Loftin said.

In Childers’ home of Prentiss County, officials said 438 absentee ballots were cast — higher than usual for a midterm, but significantly fewer than the roughly 800 in the 2008 presidential race.

Childers and Taylor are both fiscally conservative Blue Dog Democrats in districts that voted for Republican John McCain in the 2008 presidential race. Their opponents accused them of putting Washington politics ahead of their home districts.

Childers and Taylor portray themselves as independent-minded lawmakers who are willing to vote against their own party’s leadership on divisive issues such as the national health care overhaul.

***

Associated Press writer Holbrook Mohr contributed to this report.

2:38 p.m.: Lee County Circuit Clerk Joyce Loftin and others are taking copied ballots to precincts where constable races have boosted turnout today.

Loftin said poll workers are calling her office as they get low on the printed ballots, which are tallied by electronic vote counters.

While she was too busy to speak at length, as she headed out the door of the Lee County Justice Center, she said the new ballots will be hand-counted and that process may occur tonight or Wednesday.

2:37 p.m.: The voting at the Belden precinct in Lee County was heavy at noon, with 500 people having voted. A poll worker told Joe Rutherford of the Journal staff after he voted that the stream of voters had been steady since polls opened at 7 a.m.

1:45 p.m.: This just in … Calls to the Daily Journal say Lee County may have run out of printed ballots and must go to copied ones, which may have to be hand-counted because the machines won’t accept them.

We’re checking to see what’s going on and will update as soon as possible.

1:41 p.m.: Steady stream of people coming in and out at Tishomingo County voting place, according to Daily Journal reporter Lena Mitchell.

1:35 p.m.: Hearing from The Itawamba County Times that at one of the larger polling areas about 53 people had voted as of 9:30 a.m., but at another polling place a person left and came back because the line was so long.

12:23 p.m. Thanks for joining us. There has been some rain, but looks like it isn’t slowing voters down.

NEMS Daily Journal photographer Thomas Wells reports that at Tupelo 3 voting station more than a 1,000 people had voted as of noon.

Monroe Journal reporter Jeff Clark says he hears voting is good in Aberdeen.

Let us know below what you see as far as voting. Also we’ll ask a question we saw today. If you could describe how you feel about this election in one word what would it be? Post it and explain in comments below. You can change it throughout the night.

Remember all the election news will be put here feel free to ask during the night if you are looking for something we’re here to serve. Thanks for joining us and here are some links to get you going …

Click here for the NEMS360.com Election page with results and stories.

Click here for It’s decision day for 1st District seat – lots of comments here.

Click here for Weather a factor in early voter turnout in Mississippi.

Click here for Early clues What to watch in Tuesday s elections

Todd Vinyard/Journal Interactive