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Kemper sheriff, challenger meet in runoff

By By Fredie Carmichael / staff writer
Aug. 12, 2003
Johnny Harpole wants to make a difference as sheriff of Kemper County, while incumbent Samuel Tisdale wants to continue what he started when he took office in 1998.
The candidates face each other in the Aug. 26 Democratic Party runoff; the winner will advance to the Nov. 4 general election and face independents Rusty Calvert, Ronnie Rankin and Glen Williams.
The sheriff's race is one of several runoffs in East Central Mississippi and the biggest in Kemper County. Other Kemper County runoffs include District 3 supervisor and Post 2 constable.
In the Aug. 5 Democratic primary, Tisdale received 1,663 votes, or 39 percent, to Harpole's 1,319 votes, or 31 percent. Two other Democrats received the remaining 30 percent, or 1,251 votes.
Harpole said he believes the sheriff's department could be doing a better job like it was six years ago when his friend, McKee, headed the agency.
The runoff will mark Tisdale's third election in five years.
Tisdale won a special election to become sheriff in 1998. He followed that a year later by winning the Democratic primary to snag the job for a full four-year term that started in January 2000.
Tisdale said he hopes the voters of Kemper County will continue to support him.
Harpole, though, said he believes the county could be doing a better job at thwarting drug problems. He said he believes his work with the East Mississippi Drug Task Force could help him do just that.