Tess Smith named Lamar County Superintendent - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Tess Smith named Lamar County Superintendent


Tess Smith defeated challenger Wayne Folkes for the Lamar County Superintendent position Tuesday night, leading with a total of 8,542 votes. 

Superintendent Tess Smith faced the district's Director of Student Services, Wayne Folkes. 

Folkes trailed with a total of 5102 votes.

These totals were without absentee ballots

The two said that the race was friendly. 

“Our sons are friends and we've worked together for 23 years,” said Tess Smith, Lamar County Superintendent. 

“I have nothing but great respect for her, in what she has accomplished as a teacher, counselor, and administrator throughout her years,” said Wayne Folkes, Smith's challenger.

Folkes also had many years in education; 31 years to be exact. 

Both said they believed their educational backgrounds prepared them to oversee the 16 schools in one of the fastest growing counties. 

“This is actually my 150th day on the job and I did a lot of training with Dr.Burnett before, so I feel very prepared for the job,” said Smith. “In my opinion, things are going well in the district.”

 “A lot of things that I've seen have prepared me to be a candidate for this,” said Folkes.

Smith said she had nothing but the best interest at heart for Lamar County schools. 

“I have been blessed by this district, 23 years. I mean I want to stay in this district regardless of what job I may be doing. Like I said when I was first appointed, I would do this job to the best of my ability for as long as I was allowed, and that means through this election,” said Smith.

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