Hodge defeats Dykes for Jones County sheriff

Jones County Sheriff Larry Dykes lost his bid for reelection in Tuesday's Democratic primary runoff.

According to complete but unofficial returns, challenger Alex Hodge won 54 percent of the vote to 46 percent for Dykes.

Dykes had seemed to be in trouble three weeks ago, when he failed to gain a majority in the first primary. Later, all the runners-up in that election publicly united behind Hodge.

Jones County Sheriff -- 46 of 46 precincts reporting (100%)

Alex Hodge 6,358 54%
Larry Dykes 5,339 46%

Dykes was one of four incumbent Pine Belt sheriffs unseated by voters Tuesday.

Longtime Perry County Sheriff Carlos Herring was handily defeated by Jimmy Dale Smith.

Perry County Sheriff -- 15 of 15 precincts reporting (100%)

Jimmy Dale Smith 2,266 65%
Carlos Herring 1,228 35%

Covington County's Roger Speed was narrowly beaten by the man he defeated four years ago, Stann Smith.

Covington County Sheriff -- 17 of 17 precincts reporting (100%)

Stann Smith 2,778 51%
Roger Speed 2,648 49%

And Greene County Sheriff Stanley McLeod lost to Kevin Fortinberry.

Greene County Sheriff -- 13 of 13 precincts reporting (100%)
Kevin Fortinberry 2,477 57%
Stanley Mc Leod 1,853 43%

The only incumbent sheriff to survive Tuesday's balloting was Jeff Cavis County's Henry McCullum.  He faces former Hattiesburg policeman and drug task force director Jim Kinslow in November.

Jeff Davis County Sheriff -- 21 of 21 precincts reporting (100%)
Henry Mc Cullum 2,526 57%
John Wayne Tolar 1,876 43%

In Marion County, deputy Jason Kessler edged past constable Adrian Fortenberry in the Democratic runoff to replace the retiring Sheriff Rip Stringer.  Kessler now faces a Republican and two independents.    

Marion County Sheriff -- 23 of 23 precincts reporting (100%)

Jason Kessler 2,992 51%
Adrian Fortenberry 2,843 49%