Runoff elections bring more change to Hancock and Harrison Counties while Jackson County reverts to the mean

Depending on the November general election here in Hancock County we may end up with a completely new Board of Supervisors but at the minimum four of the five Supervisors will be new now that Sup Tony Wayne Ladner was eliminated in yesterday’s runoff election. Meantime in Harrison County there is a new Sheriff in town to go with three new County Supervisors and Superintendent of Education.

We also had runoff elections in Jackson County with two County Sups in runoffs. Before I link Anita I’d like to revisit what was the prevailing thoughts on the primary elections dating to late July and the confab between elements of the media including Slabbed and the SRHS retirees. While there was no candidate promotion at that meeting a very frank discussion was held about all the candidates for the County Board of Supervisors as well as what people thought was their best guess at board turnover, such speculation also periodically appearing here on Slabbed in comments. Everyone pretty much agreed there would be no more than three seats change with two seats being the more likely number. No one saw what would come on August 4th, with two Sups losing outright and two more being forced into runoffs, especially given the overall low voter turnout raising the possibility of four new Supervisors. For those wanting change the Primary election exceeded expectations. After the runoff elections my mathematically oriented mind immediately thought of mean reversion to make sense of last night’s results:

Jackson County: Cumbest returns; Taylor wins; Ross advances ~ Anita Lee

I thought Sabrina Smith had Barry Cumbest on the ropes and he surprised us with a strong finish.  Political newcomer Sabrina Smith ran a spirited, grass roots campaign against an incumbent Supervisor that comes from a large Jackson County’s family that has been around for hundreds of years and took him to the wire.  She should be proud of the campaign she ran and to borrow and slightly change a football phrase she left it all on the campaign trail. Kudos to Ms. Smith.

Troy Ross advancing to the general election did not surprise me, especially since I was aware that he had the significant support among the SRHS retirees. You see folks people are motivated to vote for a number of reasons many of which are noble but mostly people vote their wallets. I disclosed the reason Sup Ross would win before the election here, specifically:

Ross supporters point to the fact he is a less divisive personality than Brodnax and that Ross will be able to more capably work with the new board to fix the myriad of problems the county faces.

Slabbed has had the privilege to report on this incredible story that involves the intersection of a major scandal with the fields of auditing, finance and the law, in the SRHS meltdown.  Even more significant is the political component in a group of people that cast aside personal differences to create a grassroots movement with a unified voice in the SRHS retirees. They have become a political power in Jackson County.

This group of folks and their determination to see justice done included picketing in the cold of winter and the worst of our summertime heat almost nonstop. This has gone on so long that the group has seen a few of its members die and yet more step up to post. I rather suspect these folks, despite the close bonds they have forged with each other, would much rather be inside in the air conditioning that manning a picket line in the 95 plus degree heat.

So think about the runoff from a retiree’s standpoint. Continue reading “Runoff elections bring more change to Hancock and Harrison Counties while Jackson County reverts to the mean”

Comment Bump: Greg Shoemaker | Jackson County District One Supervisor

My wife and I are registered voters in Mr. Cumbest’s district. I’m also a former administrator at SRHS and sent a letter addressed to Mr. Cumbest (dated November 3, 2014) when the SRHS pension problems first came to light….so I am genuinely interested in Mr. Cumbest’s latest comments…..especially since he never bothered to respond to my concerns. No written response. No phone call. No followup email. Not even a canned “thank you for your feedback” letter. Nothing. Maybe I’m old fashioned, but I would think that a locally-elected official would take time to at least acknowledge a thoughtful letter from a concerned constituent. If he/she can’t even manage to do that, then how much does that person really “care”?

I’m proud to have voted for Sabrina Manning Smith in the Republican primary and will be at polls bright and early on August 24th to vote for her again in the runoff. I refuse to vote for Barry Cumbest….not because I disagree with him politically…..but rather because he has shown me that he really doesn’t care about those he perceives as “nobodys”. My hope is that the “nobodys” will show up in droves on August 24th and vote him out of office.

Pro Bono Publico: Jackson County Sup District One GOP Runoff on my mind

First up I must give props to the District One residents that correctly predicted that incumbent Sup Barry Cumbest was in trouble before the primary election.  Conventional wisdom was that Cumbest would be re-elected and that still may happen despite the fact he failed to get 50% plus one on the first try.

That said all the candidates that did not make the runoff have endorsed Sabrina Smith. Smith is a political novice but she has run a spirited campaign to unseat Cumbest.  She was smart enough to court the SRHS retirees early on and this now  makes her the favorite to win the seat next Tuesday.

Slabbed New Media will not be endorsing any candidates in the runoff election though we highly encourage everyone to go vote a week from tomorrow. Meantime I’m more than happy to let the Cumbest and Smith partisans have their say in comments.