WILLIAM RANDLE, JR. a/k/a BOOMAN AND THE DEMOCRATIC EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OF THE CITY OF OKOLONA, MISSISSIPPI
TOMMIE JAMES IVY, SR.
OF JUDGMENT: 11/17/2017
CHICKASAW COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, HON. BARRY W. FORD TRIAL
COURT ATTORNEYS: GARY STREET GOODWIN WALTER HOWARD ZINN, JR.
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: WALTER HOWARD ZINN, JR.
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: GARY STREET GOODWIN
WALLER, C.J., CHAMBERLIN AND ISHEE, JJ.
Tommie James Ivy Sr. filed an election contest against
William Randle Jr. and the Democratic Executive Committee of
the City of Okolona following the primary election of the
Democratic nominee for the office of city marshall. The
special tribunal rendered a judgment in favor of Ivy, ordered
a special election and excluded Randle from the special
election. Randle appealed, and Ivy cross-appealed. The Court
holds that the special tribunal properly determined that a
special election was required but improperly held that Randle
was excluded from being a candidate. Therefore, the Court
affirms in part, reverses in part and remands. Further, the
cross-appeal is dismissed.
On May 2, 2017, a primary election for the Democratic nominee
was held between three candidates for the office of city
marshall of the City of Okolona, Mississippi. William Randle
Jr. and Tommie James Ivy Sr. received the highest number of
votes, requiring a runoff election. A primary runoff election
was held on May 16, 2017. The result was very close. Randle
was certified the winner with 522 votes. Ivy received 521
Ivy filed a Petition to Contest the Election under
Mississippi Code Section 23-15-921 (Rev. 2018). The
Democratic Executive Committee of the City of Okolona held a
hearing, denied relief to Ivy and dismissed the petition. Ivy
filed a Petition for Judicial Review of the Election Contest.
A special judge was appointed.
In the meantime, Randle proceeded to the general election. He
ran against an independent candidate, Tommie James Ivy Jr.,
and won. He held the office of city marshall at the time of
the special tribunal's hearing and judgment.
At the hearing before the special tribunal, Ivy questioned
the legality of eleven affidavit ballots from five different
wards. After testimony from the people who placed the
questioned votes, the special tribunal determined that nine
votes were illegal and two were legal. With the new vote
totals, the special tribunal found from the bench that Ivy
had received 518 votes and Randle had received 516 votes.
Further, the special tribunal stated that no fraud or
"an intention to do anything to determine the outcome of
[the] race" existed and that a special election should
be held. In a subsequent written judgment, the special
Pursuant to § 23-15-937 of the Mississippi Code of 1972,
as amended, a special election is required to be conducted by
the City of Okolona, in which Tommie James Ivy, Sr. shall be
designated on the ballot as the Democratic party nominee and
Tommie James Ivy, Jr. shall be ...