Despite an Attorney General’s opinion that makes it clear counties must pay for special elections despite their ability to pay for it, three Hinds County supervisors today would not vote to do that, furthering a three-day impasse and all but guaranteeing legal action from political parties. District 1 Supervisor and board president Robert Graham, District 5 Supervisor Kenneth Stokes and interim District 2 Supervisor Al Hunter didn’t ask board attorney Tony Gaylor to read the opinion delivered by fax at mid-morning today, instead voting to adjourn the meeting and abruptly walking out after Election Commission chair Connie Cochran told them there are plenty of public funds in the commission’s budget to cover the costs. That left District 3 Supervisor Peggy Hobson Calhoun and interim District 4 Supervisor Robert Walker sitting by themselves, with Calhoun offering her comments after being cut off by Graham when the vote to adjourn was taken.
It also evoked immediate concerns by Hobson, Calhoun and Hinds County Democratic Party officials who believe the supervisors won’t fund the elections because they want to find a way to keep Hunter in office.
At stake are the Sept. 24 primary, likely primary runoff, and special election set for Nov. 5 to fill the District 2 and District 4 supervisor seats now held by interim appointees. By law, the Election Commission must prepare official ballots by Friday, which is 45 days before the primary election.
“If they don’t come back to make any changes or anything, we’ll see them in court,” said Hinds County Democratic Executive Committee chair Jackie Norris.
When Hinds County supervisors met Tuesday afternoon to again try to decide if they’ll pay for the county’s Sept. 24 special primary elections, the person adamantly opposed to writing the check wasn’t around for a vote.