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Candidates make last-minute pitch

By Staff
TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS Carolyn Bond-Beckham was one of the first people to cast a ballot in today's party primaries. Bond-Beckham voted at Poplar Springs Elementary School. Polls in the Democratic and Republican party primaries opened at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. today. Photo by Kyle Carter/The Meridian Star
By Steve Gillespie / staff writer
Aug. 5, 2003
Candidates for state and county offices, including the race for Lauderdale County's District 1 supervisor seat, were hard at work searching for last-minute votes Monday.
Some, like Bill McBride and Jerry Marlow two of the five Republicans running for the District 1 seat said they plan to work the campaign trail until 7 p.m. when the polls close in today's party primaries.
One statewide candidate, Republican gubernatorial hopeful Haley Barbour, stopped in Meridian on Monday at his Lauderdale County campaign headquarters to push for a big turnout in today's primary.
Barbour told a group of about 40 supporters, many of them primary candidates themselves, that they should spend the day talking on the phone, talking to people at work and knocking on doors to draw voters to the polls.
Contested races
Polls for the Democratic and Republican party primaries opened at 7 a.m. today. On the ballot were such races as governor, lieutenant governor, state representative, state senator and county supervisor.
In many instances, primary winners will advance to the Nov. 4 general election. Races will be decided in the primaries if all candidates are from one party and no independents or third-party candidates are running.
If needed, runoff elections are set for Aug. 26.
Rick Barry, co-chairman of Barbour's campaign in Lauderdale County, said he expects voter turnout for the GOP primary to be large because of the governor's race and because several county races will be decided.
Lauderdale County races that will be decided in the GOP primary include District 1 supervisor, District 3 supervisor, county coroner, chancery clerk, tax assessor, District 3 constable and District 3 Justice Court Judge.
In spite of many Republicans competing against each other in the primaries on the local level, Barry said he sees the party coming together for the general election.
Supervisor's race
If no one in the District 1 supervisor's race wins more than 50 percent of the vote, the top two candidates will advance to a runoff. The winner will be sworn into office in January and replace outgoing Supervisor Hank Florey, who did not seek re-election.
During a break in his door-to-door campaigning on Monday, McBride said he plans to drop by the district's polling places today and also place telephone calls to remind people to vote.
Marlow said he also plans to work the polls today.
While hard at work Monday trying to catch potential voters he may have missed earlier, District 1 candidate David Pritchett said he plans to take a break from his regular campaign pace today.
Neighborhood campaign
Another District 1 candidate, Sidney Covington, said she spent Monday soliciting votes from her neighbors.
She also said she plans to go back to weeding her garden and cooking for her husband today.
Eddie Harper, who also is seeking the District 1 post, said he spent Monday thanking supporters for their hard work. He plans to spend today with his wife and children; he said his campaign also is providing some rides to the polls for senior citizens.
Once the polls close, McBride, Marlow and Pritchett said they plan to wait for election results at home.
Covington and Harper both plan to monitor election returns with supporters at the Howard Johnson's in Meridian.