Kendra “KK” Necaise (front center) after winning the circuit clerk’s race.

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 3,139, in official totals.

"My family and I are overwhelmed by the support that I've been shown throughout this campaign," Necaise said after the votes were tallied Tuesday night. "I've met a lot of wonderful people and I look forward to serving the citizens of Hancock County as their next circuit clerk."

"It's a big job and I think the people of Hancock County elected who they wanted to run the show," outgoing Hancock Circuit Clerk Karen Ladner Ruhr said Tuesday evening. "Kendra has 31 years of experience working for the circuit clerk's office and I know she'll do a good job."

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 official totals on Tuesday to Lagasse's 1,135.

"I'd like to thank the people of Hancock County for showing confidence in me," Necaise said Tuesday. "I also want to thank Judge Lagasse for his years of service and for running a good, clean campaign. I look forward to re-energizing and get ready for the next election.'

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 576. Moran will face Libertarian candidate Lynn Smith in November to earn the seat vacated earlier this year by Judge Tommy Carver.

In another closely-contested race on Friday, Coroner Jim Faulk fended off challenger Jeff Hair with 3,900 votes to Hair's 3,621. The lead in that race changed multiple times over the course of the evening as the ballots came in from each new precinct.

In the Constable Place 3 runoff, Paul Taylor prevailed over Albert Biehl 877 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 declared the winner, earning more votes than Willis in the Harrison County portion of the district. 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 2,393.

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.

Election results were certified on Wednesday.

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