Circuit Court Judge Celeste Embrey Wilson will return to her position on the bench after defeating attorney Stan Little in one of the more contested races of Election Day 2018.
DeSoto County Board of Education board members Ann Jolley and Sheila Riley were re-elected as they fended off challenges for their District 3 and District 4 seats, respectively, on the school board.
And, voters in DeSoto County gave Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith a slight edge over Mike Espy in the four-person challenge for the seat Hyde-Smith was appointed to with the earlier resignation/retirement of former Sen. Thad Cochran. However, no one received a majority statewide and a runoff election between Hyde-Smith and Espy would take place on Nov. 27.
Statewide, Espy held a slight lead over Hyde-Smith in raw numbers, but both came in with 41 percent of the vote. That was with 78 percent of the state precincts reporting in.
Following are updated DeSoto County vote totals:
Precincts: 41 of 41
Voter turnout: 48.73 percent (Actual votes cast are 50,926)
Contested races only are listed
David Baria 16,630
Roger Wicker 32,474
Danny Bedwell 1,025
Shawn O’Hara 234
Tobey Bartee 664
Mike Espy 16,711
Cindy Hyde-Smith 20,463
Chris McDaniel 11,752
US House of Representatives
Trent Kelly 32,836
Randy Mack Wadkins 17,035
Tracella Lou O’Hara Hill 392
Circuit Court Judge
Stan Little 15,038
Celeste Embrey Wilson 28,860
School Board District 3
Bacardi Harris 2,297
Ann O. Jolley 3,457
School Board District 4
Elsie Geanes Miller 1,173
Jeny Black Price 1,446
Sheila Riley 3,718
A side issue that developed in Tuesday's election involved delaying transmission of vote totals to the state election system via Internet to prevent hacking.
As a result, there was an early delay in releasing voting information.
District 2 Supervisor Mark Gardner said late Tuesday the DeSoto County Board of Supervisors simply followed the advice of Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann in delaying an internet transmission of vote totals, even for a few seconds in the effort to prevent hacking of the election totals, simply a precautionary measure that delayed the reporting of vote totals.
Gardner said the decision was made with more than 15 people in the room, including DeSoto Circuit Clerk Dale Thompson, to delay an electronic transmission of vote totals. Gardner said the decision was made after receiving the letter from Hosemann.
At the end of the night, Thompson said everything came out correctly.
"The tapes and electronic results matched perfectly, so there was no hacking in DeSoto County," Thompson said. "We had paper backups, tape backups and we had so many safeguards to make sure that wouldn’t happen."