Although there were far fewer candidates on Tuesday night, the tension at the Hancock County Courthouse was nearly as thick as the votes were tallied for the Republican runoff as it was for the 2019 primary election earlier this month.
In what may have been the most hotly-contested race of the evening, long-time deputy circuit clerk Kendra ''KK'' Necaise won the right to succeed outgoing Circuit Clerk Karen Ladner Ruhr, earning 4,365 votes to Tammy Garber's 3,138.
In perhaps the biggest upset of the night, long-time Justice Court Place 2 Judge J.A. ''Jay'' Lagasse was unseated by challenger Brian S. Necaise. Necaise earned 1,456 votes in unofficial totals on Tuesday to Lagasse's 1,135. Necaise will now face Independent candidate Teresa Ehrlich in the November general election.
In the Justice Court Judge Place 3 runoff, Eric C. Moran defeated Roger Estopinal 1,128 to 575. Moran will face Libertarian candidate Lynn Smith in November to earn the seat vacated earlier this year by Judge Tommy Carver.
Coroner Jim Faulk fended off challenger Jeff Hair with 3,899 votes to Hair's 3,621.
In the Constable Place 3 runoff, Paul Taylor prevailed over Albert Biehl 876 to 753. Taylor will square off against Democratic candidate Steven L. Saucier and Independent candidate Guy "Tater" Graham in November.
In the District 95 state representative race, incumbent Rep. Patricia Willis won over Jay McKnight in Hancock County by 1,575 votes to McKnight's 1,237. However, McKnight was being declared the unofficial winner, earning more votes than Willis in the Harrison County portion of the district. At the last count before press time, McKnight had 2,788 total votes to Willis' 1,913.
In statewide races, Hancock County voters cast their ballots in line with most of the rest of the state.
In the governor's race, Tate Reeves won over Bill Waller, Jr. in Hancock County by 5,213 to 2,392.
Reeves was declared the Republican winner statewide and will face Democratic candidate Attorney General Jim Hood in the November general election.
In the Attorney General's race, Lynn Fitch won Hancock County over Andy Taggart 4,865 to 2,333, and was declared the statewide Republican nominee.
Tuesday's totals are still considered unofficial, Ruhr said, and will be certified on Wednesday. However, she said, there were only 12 affidavit ballots cast county-wide, so they should not make a difference in any of the races.