By BRIAN HAWKINS
More candidates have qualified over the last few days to run for county offices in this year’s county and statewide elections.
As of Tuesday night, candidates that have qualified since Jan. 5 include the following (incumbents are designated with an “I” in parentheses):
• Buddy Johnson, Republican, Justice Court judge, District 3.
• Shank Phelps, Republican, constable, District 1.
• Steve C. Gladney, Democrat, sheriff.
• William H. Ford, Democrat, constable, District 1.
• Joe Morse, Democrat, constable, District 1.
Other candidates who have already qualified include (incumbents are designated with an “I” in parentheses):
• Curtis White, Democrat, constable, District 1.
• James Lindsey, Democrat, constable, District 3 (I).
• Tremell O. Sherman, Democrat, District 2 supervisor.
• Benny L. Perkins, Republican, District 3 supervisor.
• Debbie Carrithers, Democrat, tax assessor/collector.
• William “Tony” Boykin, Democrat, Justice Court judge, District 1 (I).
• Sheila Lane, Democrat, District 5 supervisor.
• Charles Sanders, Democrat, sheriff.
• James “Jim” Mills, Democrat, Justice Court judge, District 3 (I).
• W. Bernard Crump, Democrat, Justice Court judge, District 2 (I).
• Orlando Trainer, Democrat, District 2 supervisor (I).
• Dolph Bryan, Democrat, sheriff (I).
• Daniel Jackson, Democrat, District 4 supervisor (I).
• John Young, Democrat, District 5 supervisor (I).
• Carl Clardy, Democrat, District 1 supervisor (I).
• Marvell Howard, Democrat, District 3 supervisor (I).
• James R. Covington Jr., Democrat, superintendent of education (I).
• Dennis Daniels Jr., Republican, District 3 supervisor.
• Allen Morgan, Republican, tax assessor-collector.
• Monica Banks, Democrat, chancery clerk (I).
• Curtis D. Randle, Democrat, constable, District 2 (I).
Prospective candidates interested in running in one of the races on the Oktibbeha County ballot can pick up or fill out the necessary qualifying documents at the Circuit Clerk’s Office at the Courthouse Annex, which is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday.
The primary election is scheduled for Aug. 2, while the general election is Nov. 8.
Though new district lines for county district offices will also be drawn this year, the process will likely not be complete by the March 1 qualifying deadline, said Circuit Clerk Angie McGinnis on Tuesday.
After consulting the Attorney General’s Office on Tuesday, McGinnis said candidates for county supervisor, Justice Court judge or constable may qualify under the current district lines.
Once the new districts are complete and approved by the necessary federal agencies, any candidate who finds himself or herself in a different district than the one in which he or she originally qualified will automatically see his or her candidacy shifted into the new district, McGinnis learned from the Attorney General’s Office.
“The qualifying paperwork would be changed administratively to reflect a district changes,” McGinnis said.
All candidates for state or county office must:
• Be a registered voter in the state and the district, county or county district of the office for which they are running.
• Never have been convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment (unless having received a full pardon).
• Never have been convicted of a felony in a federal court or a felony in the court of another state as outlined in Section 44 of the Mississippi Constitution.
Countywide or county district office candidates seeking political party nomination must file a statement of intent and pay either a $10 or $15 fee (according to office) to the appropriate party executive committee via the Circuit Clerk’s Office.
Countywide candidates running as independents must submit petitions containing signatures of 50 registered voters to the Circuit Clerk’s Office.
Candidates for state district or statewide offices must qualify with the appropriate state political party office in Jackson or, if an independent candidate, with the Secretary of State’s Office in Jackson.
In addition to the Circuit Clerk’s Office, copies of the various statements of intent for all candidates and petition forms for independent candidates may also be downloaded from the Secretary of State’s Office website at http://www.sos.ms.gov  by clicking under the link marked “Elections.”
For additional information, contact the Circuit Clerk’s Office at 323-1356 during regular business hours or visit the Secretary of State’s Office website at the address listed above.