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Judge rules in the Tax Collector/Assessor election results


Special Circuit Judge Jeff Weill, Sr. has released a summary document on his ruling in the Republican primary runoff for Pearl River County Tax Collector/Assessor race that was contested by

candidate Sandy Kane Smith.

The statement from Judge Weill reads as follows:

In accordance with the Court’s Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law regarding the Amended Petition for Contest of Election and Judicial Review filed by the Petitioner, Sandy Kane Smith against the Respondent, Jo Lynn Houston by which the election contest-related claims asserted by Petitioner brought pursuant to MCA Section 23-15-927, as amended, in this civil action have been finally granted and adjudicated fully, pursuant to Miss. R. Civ. P. 58, the Court hereby enters its Final Judgment, which incorporates by reference all findings contained within the Court’s Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law.


Accordingly, it is hereby ORDERED:

1. That the Amended Petition for Contest of Election and Judicial Review filed by the Petitioner, Sandy Kane Smith be granted, in part, and denied in part;


2. That a special election for the position of Tax Collector/Assessor of Pearl River be, and it is hereby, ordered to be conducted by the election officials in the Picayune Southside 1 and Picayune 2 precincts in Pearl River County, Mississippi, only, following the detailed procedure outlined in the Court’s Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law;


3. That the returns in the remaining 25 precincts be, and they are hereby, validated as certified except the election officials shall add one vote to the total vote received by Sandy Kane Smith in the Carriere 5 precinct;


4. In that the election results are hereby vacated pending the results of a special election, and no candidate is eligible to be sworn in and enter into the term of Tax Collector/Assessor from and after January 1, 2024, the current occupant in that

position will hold over and serve until the results of the special election are certified and the winning candidate is sworn in;


5. That the Circuit Clerk shall no later than five (5) days from the entry of the Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law and Final Judgment forward certified copies of the same to the Governor of the State of Mississippi so that the Governor can set a new election in the two precincts ordered by the Court; and


6. That the parties are to bear their own costs of this action.


Picayune Southside 1 is located at the Mary Ellen Richardson Community on Beech Street and Picayune 2 precinct is located at the Crosby Memorial Library on Goodyear Blvd.


The date of the special election will be determined by Governor Tate Reeves.

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