Sheriff hopefuls prep for final election stretch

ABERDEEN – Monroe and Union counties will get new sheriffs in 2012, but it will be November before the office’s new occupants are decided.
Monroe County incumbent Sheriff Andy Hood was defeated by Cecil Cantrell in Tuesday night’s Democratic runoff and will face Republican Mike Hall in the Nov. 8 general election. Cantrell won nearly 60 percent of the vote Tuesday.
Hall, who did not have a primary opponent, has been quiet so far during this election, but said that was his plan until a Democratic winner surfaced. A story in Wednesday’s Daily Journal failed to mention Hall’s general election candidacy.
“Now that I see who I’m running against in this race,” said Hall, “I’m glad to be able to give the voters another choice in this election. That’s what it’s about; the people being able to cast their votes.”
In Union County, Sheriff Tommy Wilhite is calling it quits after serving 12 years as sheriff and 35 years overall as a Union County law enforcer. He announced his retirement recently and will step down in January.
Jimmy Edwards, Wilhite’s chief deputy, will go against Republican candidate Jim Taylor in November for that job.
“With all the incumbents losing, it looks like I picked a pretty good time to get out,” said Wilhite.
Incumbents in Pontotoc, Monroe, Calhoun and Oktibbeha were unseated. Oktibbeha County Sheriff Dolph Bryan had been sheriff for 35 years.
danza.johnson@journalinc.com

Danza Johnson/NEMS Daily Journal