HED:Ivy recaptures seat; other supervisor incumbents hold on
By Philip Moulden
Tommie Lee Ivy, the first black elected to the Lee County Board of Supervisors this century, effectively won a second term Tuesday night with a overwhelming victory over two Democratic challengers.
The three other Lee County supervisor incumbents also advanced, although Democratic District 5 Supervisor Thomas Kennedy will face his first runoff in 20 years on Aug. 24.
Ivy, 52, the 4th District incumbent, easily outpaced Tupelo attorney Brian Neely and corporate planner Jim Huckaby of Pleasant Grove with 1,630 votes, or 78 percent, in complete but unofficial returns.
Neely, who also lost to Ivy in a primary bid for the Democratic nomination in 1995, got 245 votes, or 12 percent, and Huckaby finished with 199 votes, or 10 percent.
As the Democratic nominee, Ivy faces no opposition in the Nov. 2 general election.
Ivy said he was not surprised by his victory margin, but he was very pleased.
“We stayed committed. We stayed with the people,” Ivy said. “I thank the people of the 2nd District for supporting me.”
Davis, Duke win
District 1 Supervisor Billy Davis and District 3 Supervisor Charles Duke also easily captured the Democratic Party nominations, but each faces a Republican challenger in November.
Davis, 68, avoided a Democratic runoff in a three-way race by capturing 2,105 votes, 70 percent of the total. J.L. Jon Lanphere, who also ran four years ago, got 23 percent and Garvin Spearman got 7 percent.
Meanwhile, Auburn community cattle farmer Phil Morgan won the Republican nomination for the 1st District seat with 365 votes, or 65 percent. Mark Sheffield finished with 35 percent.
Morgan will battle Davis for the post in the general election.
Davis, seeking a sixth term, credited strong support from the eastern part of the county, which was placed in the 1st District for the first time in the 1995 election.
“They did me good four years ago and they did me super good this time,” Davis said. “I want to thank all the people of the 1st District.”
Morgan was just as enthusiastic.
“I’m overwhelmed and I’m humbled,” he said. “I just appreciate the support and hope (voters) will continue to support me in the coming election.”
Duke, 66, finished with 61 percent of the vote to oust Democratic challenger Smith Heavner, 70, a former Tupelo city councilman who captured 39 percent.
Duke, of the Chesterville community, will face Tupelo insurance executive Jim High, a Republican, in November. High faced no opposition Tuesday.
“I just thank my supporters, my family and the people of the 3rd District,” Duke said, adding he plans no changes in the coming campaign.
“I’m just going to do the same things. Just keep going. I’ll just be glad when it’s all over,” Duke said.
Kennedy in runoff
Kennedy, 76, didn’t fare as well in the wild six-person Democratic battle for the 5th District seat. He got 886 votes, 29 percent, just slightly more than the 797, or 26 percent, garnered by challenger Glenell “Glen” Weeks, 58, of Plantersville, a newspaper advertising executive.
Still, Kennedy said he was happy with the outcome.
“I’m feeling good,” he said. “I’d just like to ask the supporters of the other men in the race to help me in my campaign. All the candidates ran a good clean race and I’m very pleased.”
Weeks indicated he anticipated Kennedy leading the first primary, but he believes the bulk of the votes will now swing his way.
“I feel good about it,” Weeks said. “I know where I’m weak and that’s the places I’ve got to work the hardest in. I’ve got three weeks of hard work ahead of me.”
The Aug. 24 winner will face Republican Julian Riley, who was unopposed in the primary, and independent Michael Fulco on Nov. 2.
Trailing in the 5th District faceoff were Joe McKinney, with 20 percent of the vote, Tommy Doty with 10 percent, David Homan, 9 percent, and Tony Wren, 6 percent.
Runoff in Swann’s district
A runoff also developed in the race for the 2nd District Democratic nomination.
Bobby G. Smith, 55, a Saltillo sales manager, and Eddie Medlock, 54, a Saltillo High School teacher, will face off Aug. 24. Smith captured 1,257 votes, or 46 percent, while Medlock finished with 868 votes, or 32 percent, in a four-man field.
The runoff winner will go on to battle Republican District 2 nominee Paul Turner, a Saltillo grocer, Nov. 2. Turner disposed of two other Republican hopefuls- Gordon Gibbons and Kenneth Anthony – with 345 votes, or 52 percent of the GOP ballots.
Gibbons finished with 41 percent, while Anthony had 6 percent. There were six write-in votes.
The District 2 seat was held by Democrat Everett Swann, who died in May. He was replaced by his wife Martha to complete the term, but she did not seek election.