Harper wins District 1 supervisor's race
THE WINNER Eddie Harper holds his son, Matt, as he talks on the phone Tuesday night minutes after winning the Lauderdale County District 1 supervisor's race. Because no Democrats, independents or third-party candidates are seeking the job, Harper will automatically win the post and take office in January. Photo by Kyle Carter/The Meridian Star
By Steve Gillespie / staff writer
Aug. 27, 2003
Eddie Harper's house was full of cheering friends and relatives Tuesday night.
There were high-fives, hugs and even a few tears among the people at his home in Bailey when it became apparent he will become Lauderdale County's next District 1 supervisor.
Harper said the most difficult part of his campaign was the amount of time he was away from his normal life.
Unofficially, 2,844 voters decided the GOP runoff between Harper and opponent Sidney Covington. Harper won six of eight precincts for 1,561 votes, or 55 percent; Covington had 1,283 votes, or 45 percent.
Because no Democrats, independents or third-party candidates ran for the job, Harper automatically won the race. He will take office in January, replacing District 1 Supervisor Hank Florey who did not seek re-election.
Harper and his supporters listened to election results on the radio at his home in Bailey. Sometime between 7:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. with all but one voting precinct counted, Covington called to congratulate Harper.
Harper said he hopes the campaign he and Covington ran will set a precedent for future political contests.
Harper thanked Covington.
More voters went to the polls in Tuesday's runoff than Harper expected. He had anticipated a turnout of about 2,000.
The two largest voting precincts are Poplar Springs Elementary School and the Jaycee Building. Both were won by Covington in the Aug. 5 GOP primary earlier out of a field of five candidates.
The precincts were nearly split evenly on Tuesday, however. Harper said he won the Poplar Springs box 361 to Covington's 352. Covington retained the most support at the Jaycee Building, but only by 12 votes 345 to 333.
Harper's mother, Judy Harper, was proud of her son Tuesday. She lives in District 5, between Russell and Vimville.
She said she was sure he would win the election from the beginning.