Former district attorney leading in race

By Karrie Leggett

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Former District Attorney Eddie Bowen appears to be leading the pack in the race for Circuit Judge in the 13th District.

Resolution committees in Covington, Jasper, Smith, and Simpson counties are in their second day of counting write in ballots to replace Robert Evans, who passed away this summer.

Because Evans was the only one who qualified, voters in the 13th District had to write in the name of their candidates. The governor appointed Bowen to be interim judge until the election could be held. Covington County Election Commissioner, Richard Aultman,  says the process has been a nightmare.

"It is tough. I hope we don't ever have to have another write in, because it's been tough. We've gotten names like Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, and then we've got a good many people scattered over the county that their names have entered that is not qualified. So, it has been terrible for a lot of people," said Aultman.

Here is the breakdown of the top five candidates so far.  This list includes completed vote tabulations from Smith and Simpson counties and partial from Jasper. There is still no results from Covington County. Bowen leads with 3707. Chris Hennis has 2715. Wilton McNair has 2115, Noel Rogers with 1083 and Steve Thornton with 422.