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Candidate wins primary
despite not campaigning

By By Fredie Carmichael / staff writer
Aug. 11, 2003
A retired wildlife officer who tried to withdraw from the race for Clarke County Coroner a few months ago won the Democratic Primary for the job last week despite not campaigning.
Terry E. Beckman, 65, of Quitman, said he thought it would be too expensive to run the campaign and drove to the Clarke County Courthouse last month to withdraw from the race.
But it was too late. The ballots had already been sent to the printers. And on Tuesday, Beckman won with 1,705 votes, or 55.3 percent, defeating Cleitus Roberts Jr., who got 1,336 votes, or 43.3 percent.
Beckman now faces incumbent Republican L.G. "Butch" Wright and independent Greg Fairchild in the Nov. 4 general election.
Clarke County Circuit Clerk Beth Doggett, who told Beckman ballots had been printed, said she wasn't sure at the time if Beckman was still interested in the job.
Beckman, who also is a former law officer and ran for sheriff of Clarke County years ago, said campaigning today is different. He said candidates spend thousands of dollars on advertising to get their names out.
Some of those candidates for office in surrounding counties have yet to get a break from the campaign trail because they face competition again in the Aug. 26 runoff.
Newton County will have have five runoff elections for county jobs, Kemper and Clarke counties will have three and Lauderdale County will have one. Unofficially, Neshoba County is set to have five runoffs.
Beckman said he's just happy he made it to the Nov. 4 general election. And, he said, he believes he can win, even if he doesn't campaign.