Four of five county supervisors will be new next year

October 30th, 2015     Government & Politics

 County Board of Supervisors turn over

Starting in January all but one of the five members of the Union County Board of Supervisors will be a new face.

Long-serving Supervisors Danny Jordan of  District Three and Benny Rakestraw of District Five did not run for re-election, thus creating two open seats. Incumbent Democrat Dwight “Peanut” Pickens in District One and incumbent Democrat Jimmy Yarbrough in District Two were eliminated in the August 4 primary.

Only incumbent Democrat Randy Owen in District Four will be a veteran on the county board. Owen had no challenger for the Democratic Party nomination nor did any Republican file to run for the job.

Supervisor races by district

Each of the candidates were sent two requests for information from Not all responded. They had no obligation to us. We know they are all very busy.

District One

Three candidates are in the race to replace Peanut Pickens in the District One seat. The candidates are Marshall McLaughlin, Republican; Evan D. Denton, Democrat; and Paul Patterson, Independent. Only McLaughlin responded to our requests for information.

Marshall McLaughlin, Republican candidate, District One submitted the following:

Marshall graduated from North Pontotoc Attendance Center in 1972, and after 3 years in the United States Army he and his wife Pam settled in Union County, where they raised their daughter Mindy. Mindy subsequently married Jackie Brian Willard of Pinedale. They have one son, Brandon, a student at West Union Attendance Center. Marshall and his family are members of Martin Baptist Church, where he serves as a Deacon and Music Director.

Marshall was first employed by the Soil Conservation Service as a Civil Engineering Technician on a part time basis after settling in Union County when he left the Army. In 1980 Marshall was offered and accepted a position with Foley Engineering by Mr. Hubert Lynn Foley, City and County Engineer for New Albany and Union County. Then, in 1983, Marshall accepted a full time position with the Soil Conservation Service, which was later renamed the Natural Resources Conservation Service or NRCS. In 1991 Marshall earned his Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Mississippi. He was a member of CHI Epsilon National Engineering Honor Society and the American Society of Civil Engineers. Marshall retired from the NRCS as the Supervisory Civil Engineer for North Mississippi in January 2013, with over 35 years of service.

Upon his retirement from NRCS Marshall accepted the position of Operator for the Hwy 30 West Water Association, a position he currently holds.

“I offer a wealth of experience and leadership in engineering and management. I have worked with representatives of the United States Congress and Mayors, Boards of Alderman, Boards of Supervisors, and landowners all over this State. I have also problem solved, surveyed, designed, prepared cost estimates, bid schedules, and specifications, and have overseen the construction of just about every kind of project imaginable. These projects were anything from roads, bridges, box culverts, pipe structures, dams, and everything in between. Your confidence in me to do the job for the First District and Union County would be appreciated.”

Democrat Evan D. Denton and Independent Paul Patterson did not submit information.

District Two

Three candidates are on the ballot to replace Jimmy Yarbrough in the District Two seat on the Board of Supervisors. They are Republican Bo Dillard; Democrat Chad Coffey and Independent Gerald Rea. Only Dillard responded to our requests for information

Bo Dillard, Republican candidate, District Two submitted the following:

Help Elect Bo Dillard 2nd District Supervisor. He has been married to his wife Tammy, for 27 years. They have 3 children, Stephanie, Heather and Cody Bo. He has been a member of Neely Baptist Church for the last 20 years. He graduated from Ingomar High School in 1986. He has worked in the construction business for 30 years. He started his own business in 1997′. While running his own business, he’s also helped out other companies when needed. He has completed numerous contracts for the Department of Transportation. He has also worked on projects for Union County and several surrounding counties for repairs and improvements on the schools and roads.

Dillard believes he can be an asset for his district, as well as Union County, with his vast experience in the construction business. He appreciates the support he received in the previous election, and asks for your vote in the upcoming election. Thank you and may God bless you and your family.

Democrat Chad Coffey and Independent Gerald Rea did not respond to two requests from for information.

District Three

Three candidates are on the ballot to replace retiring Supervisor Danny Jordan in District Three. They are Democrat David Kitchens; Republican Michael R. Moody; and Independent Ed Prawl. Only Kitchens and Moody, in that order, responded to our requests.

David Kitchens, Democrat, District Three submitted the following:

Education:              1980 Graduate of Mississippi State University

                                   1976 Graduate of W. P. Daniel High School

Work Experience:   Owns and Operates Home Medical Alternatives for past 20 years

                                    Merchants Truck Line for 14 years

                                    Kitchens Farms for 14 years

Service:                    Served 10 years on Union County Development Association board

                                    Served 2 years as President of UCDA

                                    Served as a board member and President of MS Trucking Assoc.

                                    Served 28 years as deacon at First Baptist Church

                                    Served 2 years as Chairman of Deacon Body

                                    Rotary Club member and served as President

                                    Served 10 years as Sunday School Director, FBC

Why I am seeking the office of 3rd district supervisor:

I am the 5th generation from my family to live in Union County.  My great great-grandfather was George Washington Hall who lived in the Wells Chapel area.  But the most important generation is the 7th generation – my grandchildren.  They need to grow up in a county that provides them a great education, an opportunity for a good job and a safe county that they would want to raise their family in.  I want that for your family as well.  While serving on the UCDA Board as President, I have worked with county officials to secure business and industry.  I want to continue the work of economic development so our children and grandchildren do not have to leave the county to find a good job. My work experience and service will help me in managing the county’s business, attracting business and industry for more and better jobs and giving our children/grandchildren the educational opportunities they deserve.

Other relevant information

I would like to express my thanks to all the good people of the third district for opening their homes when I came by to talk to you about the issues that were important to you.  I have heard you and will work hard to make Union County a better place to live, work and raise a family.  Please take this opportunity to go to the polls and vote.  Every vote is important!!

Michael R. Moody, Republican, District Three submitted the following:

Michael Moody is a lifelong resident of the Liberty Community.  He is the son of Hubert “Red” and Opal Moody.  Hubert was a long time employee of Piper Impact, and Opal, a homemaker.  Michael’s parents instilled in him values of hard work, integrity and service.  Even when they had little themselves to give, they were always willing to lend a helping hand to those in need.  Michael maintains these values to this day, and is, himself, often found helping others.

Michael is married to Amy Rhodes Moody of New Albany.  They have two children, Samuel and Sarah Grace, who attend Ingomar Attendance Center.  Michael is a devoted family man and makes quality time with his wife and children a priority.  Michael is a graduate of Ingomar Attendance Center.  He has owned his residential construction business, Moody Construction, since 1997.  Michael also co-developed the Sand Creek and North Oaks subdivisions in southeast Union County.

Michael and his family attend Hayseed Cowboy Church in Thaxton, MS.  A dedicated Christian, Michael has served in numerous teaching and church leadership positions over the years.  He has also been active in outreach, participating in two mission trips to Honduras and once leading a crew of over 40 volunteers in a project in which they built a home for a needy family in one week, “Extreme Home Makeover” style.  From this project, an organization was born in Lee County, called Faith Builders.  Michael served as a board member for this organization, whose mission was to assist church groups in completing home building and remodeling projects for the needy, while sharing the love of Christ Jesus.

Michael desires to be the next Third District supervisor in order to continue his family’s legacy of service to others while maintaining a standard of integrity and transparency.  Union County is at a pivotal point in its history, with much potential for growth if the proper steps are taken to capitalize on the opportunities available to us.  Michael will work hard to ensure Union County continues to be a great place to live, work and raise a family.

Independent candidate Ed Prawl did not respond to requests for information.

District Four

Randy Owen, the Democratic incumbent, will be re-elected without opposition

District Five

Two candidates are competing for the seat from which Benny Rakestraw is retiring. They are Democrat Stevey “Steve” Watson and Republican Caleb Chandler. Neither responded to requests for information.

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