By Danza Johnson/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – After months of campaign speeches, knocking on doors, shaking hands and hanging political signs, the public pace has slowed in the Lee County sheriff’s race.
Incumbent Republican Jim Johnson faces Democratic challenger Dovie Outlaw Williams on Nov. 8.
Johnson, the two-term incumbent and Williams, a jailer in Monroe County, are the last two standing after both won August primaries. Johnson took 80 percent of the vote against Republican primary challenger Marty Rock, and Williams defeated Sam Piriano in the Democratic primary with just more than 50 percent of the vote.
Both started out full steam ahead in the primary campaigns, but since then things have been relatively quiet.
“Things usually do slow down after the primary,” Johnson said. “The weather changes, school is in and the field is narrowed. But for some reason this one has been very quiet. We’ve only done one public speaking since August when we were doing them almost every weekend. We’re just ready for Nov. 8 to get here and to be over with.”
Johnson said he hasn’t heard or seen much from Williams recently.
However, Williams said she has been busy campaigning.
“I have still been doing a lot of campaign speaking and a lot of visiting churches to get the word out that I’m still in this race and I plan on winning it,” said Williams, who said despite Johnson’s experience, she does not feel like the underdog in this race. “I didn’t get in this thing to lose it and I’m not planning on it. I feel like it’s my time.”
In the race, Williams touts fresh ideas and Johnson boasts experience.
“I’ve been in law enforcement for over 30 years and I’ve been the sheriff of this county for eight,” Johnson said. “I think we’ve done a good job over my two terms and the people have voted us back to keep doing it twice. So I think we are in the right path.”
Williams said although she feels Johnson has done a good job as sheriff, it is time for some new ideas.
“I just think some new ideas is what Lee County needs,” Williams said, “and that’s what I bring to the table.”
Jimmy Simmons (D)
Jamie Eubank (I)
Cecil Cantrell (D)
Mike Hall (R)
Steve Gladney (D)
Rudy Johnson (R)
Leo Mask (D)
Jay Allen (I)
Larry Poole (I)
Shawn Shettles (R)
Glenn Whitlock (D)
Leslie Blaylock (R)