Mike Arledge was one step closer to his goal, Tuesday, after defeating fellow Republican Bo Harris in the parties’ primary runoff election! Arledge had resigned in 1999 from the Mississippi Highway Patrol to run for Lowndes sheriff (he had to resign to be eligible to run for sheriff that year. RW) only to be beaten by Butch Howard, who had been former Sheriff Ed Prescott’s chief deputy for 3 terms prior. Arledge then ran for Justice Court Judge in 2003 and was elected to two consecutive terms in that position. He resigned the judge’s position to run for sheriff this year. And now, he’s one very important step away from reaching his goal. He’ll have to face current Columbus Police Chief Selvain McQueen (the Democrat nominee) in the November general election.
In Oktibbeha County, 9-term Sheriff Dolph Bryan was upset by a popular former Mississippi State Trooper Steve Gladney, who captured the Democrat nomination for sheriff. Gladney will move on to face GTPDD Executive Director Rudy Johnson, the unopposed Republican sheriff nominee, in November.
The once-almost-unbeatable Bryan was humble in his looming departure at the end of the year. Bryan thanked the citizens of Oktibbeha County for all the terms they elected him sheriff and said the people had spoken.
Former New Hope Principal Lynn Wright defeated challenger Edna McGill to capture the Republican nomination for Lowndes County Superintendent of schools, Tuesday. Wright nearly doubled-up McGill on the numbers. McGill was obviously hurt by the contoversial school-district phone list that she apparently used to call thousands of Lowndes County school parents welcoming the children back to school. Though she maintained the call was not of a political nature, many people took it that way and felt she took advantage of her position in the school system to help her chances. The popular Wright had a sizable lead coming out of the first round on August 2nd, though.
Wright will have to face Democrat Cliff Reynolds in November, as well as two independent candidates in Rusty Greene and Roger Hill.
The following is a section of the federal Hatch Act, an act that specifies how state, local and federal employees must abide by certain rules when federal grant money applies to those employees jobs and the employees political activities.
State and Local Employees
The Hatch Act restricts the political activity of individuals principally employed by state or local executive agencies and who work in connection with programs financed in whole or in part by federal loans or grants. Usually, employment with a state or local agency constitutes the principal employment of the employee in question. However, when an employee holds two or more jobs, principal employment is generally deemed to be that job which accounts for the most work time and the most earned income.
The following list offers examples of the types of programs which frequently receive financial assistance from the federal government: public health, public welfare, housing, urban renewal and area redevelopment, employment security, labor and industry training, public works, conservation, agricultural, civil defense, transportation, anti-poverty, and law enforcement programs.
Hatch Act provisions also apply to employees of private, nonprofit organizations that plan, develop and coordinate federal Head Start or Community Service Block Grant programs.
State and local employees subject to the Hatch Act continue to be covered while on annual leave, sick leave, leave without pay, administrative leave or furlough.
What this means, is…Columbus Police Chief Selvain McQueen could be in violation because he’s the current Columbus Police Chief, but he’s running for the office of sheriff. I doubt the Columbus City Council considered or even thought about this when they made him chief. Nor did McQueen himself, seeing his appointment was after he was already running for sheriff and came on the heels of the firing of former Columbus Police Chief Joseph St. John.
While we’re talking about the Hatch Act, Republican Sheriff Candidate Ruby Johnson, who is running for Oktibbeha County Sheriff, would also be in violation of the Hatch Act because he’s still the Executive Director of the Golden Triangle Planning and Development District. They receive federal grant money.
Ron Williams can be reached by email at Ronsings2you@aol.com0