Clay County Commission will have 4 new faces

CELINA-The Clay County Commission will have four new faces on it when the September meeting rolls around, and a half-dozen current commissioners will continue to hold office.

It was a given there would be at least two new faces on the commission, as a pair of incumbents chose not to run for re-election. Two incumbents who did choose to run went down in defeat, too, paving the way for a fairly traditional turnover on the county’s lawmaking board.

Only District 1 will have both commissioners returning for another four years, with incumbents Bryan Coons and Timmie Scott collecting well over half of the vote in the crowded race.  Their closest challenger was was Junior B. Strong, whom Scott edged out by just under 40 votes.  Coons was the top vote getter in the five-man race collecting over 30 percent of the 1,237 votes cast.

District 2 voters overwhelmingly threw their support behind newcomer Parrish Wright by handing him over 40 percent of the total vote.  That 420-vote total tightened the race between incumbents Denzil Cherry and Michael Lee, with Cherry edging out Lee by exactly 20 votes when the ballots were counted.

Incumbent District 3 commissioner Dorothy Burchett-Forney retained her seat getting just over 34 percent of the vote, but she wasn’t the top vote-getter in the district.  With sitting commissioner Mike Boles bowing out of the race, former Celina mayor Wayne Rich and local educator Anna Ruth Locke joined Burchett-Forney in the run for the two seats.  With 425 votes–the most any commission candidate received countywide, Rich came out on top by securing nearly 37 percent of the total.

District 4 results mirrored those of the District 3, with a challenger getting the majority of the vote and the only running incumbent retaining a seat with the next best vote total.  Newcomer Pam Breeding was the top vote-getter in the district with 277, and longtime commissioner Winton Young held on to his seat with over 24 percent of the vote.

The final new face to be seated to the commission came in District 5 with Daniel Stewart edging out incumbent Cecil Langford–who retained his seat, as the top vote-getter by a pair of ballots.  Stewart had 297 and Langford finished with 295 votes.  Stewart’s showing sealed incumbent Roger Gray’s fate, as he became the second commissioner vying for re-election to come up short.

Vote totals by district (top two from each district take office):

District 1

• Bryan Coons……………375

• Timmie Scott……………311

Junior B. Strong………….274

Larry Cotton Roach…….211

Bryon Beck…………………..66

District 2

• Parrish Wright…………420

• Denzil Cherry………….247

Michael Lee……………….227

John R. Davis……………..141

District 3

• Wayne Rich……………..425

• Dorothy B. Forney……394

Anna Ruth Locke……….339

District 4

• Pam Breeding…………..277

• Winton Young…………..206

Paul “Yogi” Boles………….146

Ike Dyer……………………..135

Al Shaver……………………..90

District 5

• Daniel Stewart………..297

• Cecil Langford………..295

Shawn Watson…………..213

Roger Gray…………………198

Mickie Repecka………….160