JACKSON – The Elections Committee of the state Democratic Party has re-affirmed that Russell Jolly is its nominee for the Senate District 8 post.
Marshall Coleman, a Calhoun City alderman and businessman, had contested the Aug. 2 election results that showed Jolly winning the Democratic primary with 51 percent of the vote. Coleman finished a distant second with 27 percent and Sherman Carouthers of Okolona was third with 22 percent.
If Jolly had been under 50 percent, he would have been forced into a runoff with Coleman.
Coleman had filed a challenge with the state Democratic Party, alleging voting irregularities in Chickasaw and Grenada counties. The district consists of all of Chickasaw and portions of Lee, Calhoun and Grenada.
Rickey Cole, executive director of the state party, said the Elections Committee of the state Executive Committee met Tuesday, looked at the facts and granted Jolly’s motion to dismiss Coleman’s challenge.
“Mr. Jolly is the nominee,” Cole said.
In a prepared statement, Jolly of Houston, a cattleman/farmer, said, “We are happy to have this process behind us, and we look forward to getting back out and talking with the residents of Senate District 8. While this has been a distraction for my campaign since the primary election, we fully understand this is a part of the process in elections.
“My campaign has always believed the state Democratic Committee would make the right decision regarding Mr. Coleman’s challenge.”
Coleman said he had not decided whether to appeal to circuit court the decision of the party.
“We will have to look at their reasoning and make a determination,” Coleman said
Patsy Gregory of Okolona is the Republican nominee in District 8. The post is vacant because long-term incumbent Jack Gordon died earlier this year.
Bobby Harrison/NEMS Daily Journal