By Steve Swogetinsky

Kemper Messenger

In a little more than a month, Kemper County Democratic and Republican party voters will be going to the polls for the primary elections.

The primary elections will be held Tuesday, August 6, with runoffs set for August 27. The General Election will be Tuesday, November 5.

Anyone wanting to vote in the first primary election and is not registered to vote, has until Saturday to do so. While the Kemper County Court House will be closed Thursday and Friday in observance of Independence Day, the Circuit Clerk’s office will be opened Saturday from 8 a.m. until noon. If you are registering to vote by mail, if your letter is received by the circuit clerk’s office no later than Monday, that will meet the deadline.

Voters can also begin to cast absentee votes. Those can either be mailed in or the vote can be cast in the Circuit Clerk’s office. The deadline to cast an absentee ballot is August 3.

In Kemper County, there will be contested races for sheriff, all of the supervisors’ positions, the Circuit Clerk, both Constable’s posts and for coroner.

The candidates in contested races are as follows:

- Sheriff: Incumbent James Moore (Democrat) is being challenged by Scooba Police Chief Steven Jackson who is running as an independent.

 - Circuit Clerk: Incumbent Tracey McCoy Murray (Democrat) is being challenged by independent Shirley Steele Jackson.

 - Supervisor District 1: Incumbent James (Pat) Granger (Democrat) is being challenged by Roy Anthony Boyd (Democrat) and independent Chris Collins.

- Supervisor District 2: Incumbent Johnny B. Whitsett (Democrat) is being challenged by Willie C. Ellerby (Democrat) and independent Rusty Calbert.

- Supervisor District 3: Incumbent Justin Creer (Democrat) is being challenged by independent Scott Johnson.

Supervisor District 4: Incumbent Mike Luke (Democrat) is being challenged by independent Marcell Chamberlin.

Supervisor District 5: Incumbent Christopher (Chris) Cole (Democrat) is being challenged by Helen Shan Roberts (Democrat), Chandler “Bernard” Rush (Democrat) and independent Christy Harbour Hamilton.

Constable Post 1: Incumbent Ray C. Williams (Democrat) is being challenged by independent Johnny Griffin.

Constable Post 2: Incumbent Randy Thornton (Democrat) is being challenged by Michael Oliver (Democrat), Jurlean Brown (Democrat) and independent Samuel Tisdale Jr.

 Coroner: Incumbent Terry Bostick (Democrat) is being challenged by Peggy Jones Henderson (Democrat).

Incumbents Chancery Clerk Sherline Dee Dansby Watkins (Democrat), Tax Assessor/collector Joycelyn T. Robertson (Democrat), and Justice Court Judges Post 1 Mary Purvis Gully and Post 2 Linda Sciple Wright will all run unopposed and will go back into office for another four years in January 2020.