By Danza Johnson/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – There’s going to be a new sheriff in town in Monroe County.
Incumbent Andy Hood was unseated by challenger Cecil Cantrell in Tuesday night’s Democratic runoff. Cantrell won nearly 60 percent of the vote.
Cantrell will face Republican Mike Hall in the fall.
Cantrell said he was humbled by the win and he will stick to the principles on which he ran his campaign.
“I want to thank the people for voting me into office,” said Cantrell. “I work for them now. I said in my campaign that I will be the people’s sheriff and that is what I’m going to be.”
Hood served one term as Monroe’s sheriff following longtime Sheriff Ruble Maxey’s retirement and death. Hood said he’s enjoyed serving the people of Monroe County.
“It’s what the people wanted,” Hood said after the results were final. “It’s why we have elections, to give the people a chance to get who they want in office. I’m not ill about it at all. Life goes on. This was one of my dreams and I can check it off my list.”
Hood said he has until January before his term is officially over and he plans to work just as hard as the first day he took office nearly four years ago.
“This is an opportunity to open a new chapter in my life,” said Hood.
In Chickasaw County, incumbent Jimmy Simmons got 51 percent of the vote to narrowly defeat Willie D. Dixon in the Democratic runoff. Results in this race are unofficial at this time.
Alcorn County incumbent Democrat Charles Rinehart beat Ralph Dance to retain the sheriff’s seat.
In Oktibbeha County, longtime Sheriff Dolph Bryan was ousted by Steve C. Gladney.
Tishomingo County Sheriff Glenn Whitlock will face Republican Leslie O. Blaylock in the November general election after beating Ralph Montgomery in Tuesday’s runoffs.
Democrat Larry R. Swanson beat incumbent Billy Gore in Calhoun County and will face Republican Greg Pollan in the November general election.
In Union County, Jimmy Edwards won the Democratic nomination. Current sheriff Tommy Wilhite is on the general election ballot as an independent. However, he has said he probably would not run if one of his current officers got the Democratic nomination. Edwards is his current chief deputy.