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Four want Lawrence County sheriff’s badge

Deciding who will wear the top lawman’s badge in Lawrence County may bring more people to the polls Tuesday than voted in the primary election.

The sheriff’s race started in January with 10 candidates. One candidate, Kenny Wayne Tanksley, died in March, and the field of candidates narrowed to just four names on the ballot — incumbent Lessie J. Butler, a Democrat, faces Republican Ryan “Hoss” Everett, independent Willie Collins Jr. and independent Shelton Jackson.

Lawrence County Circuit Clerk Sandy Brister said of the 8,710 registered voters, “just a tad over 50 percent” turned out in August for the primaries. Of those, about 33 percent voted Republican and 17 percent voted Democrat.

Voters aren’t required to pick a party for the general election.

Brister looked at the absentee votes already cast and predicts a higher turnout Tuesday than in August.

“That’s always been a good indicator, the number of absentees. We’re already ahead of the August primaries,” he said.

His office in the Lawrence County Courthouse will be open today from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon for voters who need to vote absentee. The deadline to vote by mail is Monday and Brister must receive the absentee ballot in his office by mail by 5 p.m.

Voters are required to show photo identification at the polls. A voter without an acceptable form of photo identification is entitled to cast an affidavit ballot. An affidavit ballot may be counted if the voter provides an acceptable form of photo identification to the circuit clerk’s office within five business days after the election.

Brister, who is unopposed, said the sheriff’s race will pull people in to the polls.

“It’s always a big draw. And there are a couple of district supervisor’s races. It’s pretty contested. It’ll be a big draw,” he said. “The governor and lieutenant governor races on down will be a draw also.”

On the district level, voters will choose between Democrat Rita Wilkinson Goss and Republican Vince Mangold for State House of Representative District 53.

Besides the sheriff’s race, five other county races are still undecided in Lawrence County.

They include:

• Coroner — Republican Anthony “Tony” Buchanan Jr. and Democrat Sandra Wilson Lambert

• Supervisor District 2 — Republican Delane C. Ervin, Democrat Billy Showers and independent Cedric Alexander

• Supervisor District 3 — Republican Jimmy Glenn Ard and Democrat Jerry Wayne Smithie

• Supervisor District 5 — Republican Ronnie Fortenberry and Democrat Archie Ross

• Constable post 2 — Democrat Gregory L. May and Republican Royce Jay Renfroe

Several races were either decided in the primary election in August or the candidates ran unopposed.

Those are:

• District attorney District 15 — Republican Hal Kitrell

• State House of Representative Distrtict 91 — Democrat Bob Evans

• State House of Representative District 92 — Republican Becky Currie

• Chancery Clerk — Democrat Kevin Rayborn

• Circuit Clerk — Republican James “Sandy” Brister

• County attorney — independent Damond Ready

• County surveyor — Republican Monty E. Sanders

• Tax Assessor — Sherry Hyde Thames

• Supervisor District 1 — Republican Steve M. Garrett

• Supervisor District 4 — Democrat Stanley Luther Stephens

• Justice Court Judge post 1 independent Albert Turnage

• Justice Court Judge post 2 Republican Donald G. Mullins

• Constable post 1 Democrat Clifford Butler