Candidates, presented pies | stone county chief

By Steve Watkins

Political candidates across the state and county kicked off election season with speeches and handshakes Saturday as Fox community residents raised more than $5,000 for their park and community center.

The Fox Pie Auction and Chili Supper, a longstanding tradition in the rural Stone County community, drew candidates from gubernatorial to coroner who pitched their cases to voters and even participated in the auction which sold dozens of local dessert specialties.

It was the first opportunity for county residents to hear from a panel of three Stone County judge nominees and an even more crowded list of sheriff nominees.

In a rare political party scenario, the judge’s race includes a contest between two candidates vying for the Republican nomination, with the winner facing a 20-year-old Democratic incumbent who says he will now run as an independent .

Fox’s Robert Huckleberry takes on Justice of the Peace Jim Nesbitt in the Republican contest. County Judge Stacey Avey will face the winner of November’s general election.

Nesbitt said his priorities include industrial recruitment and road improvements.

“We need to tackle the industry now and stop waiting for it to come to us,” Nesbitt said. “And I’ve spent a lot of time driving county roads recently and they’re in a lot worse shape than I even thought. We can’t keep scratching these roads and destroying them. We have to put them to rest. level and do more ditching.

Huckleberry said he was running on a “people’s platform” based in part on some 200 polls he used to gauge public opinion on issues facing the county.

Key issues, he said, are public safety and a rehabilitation component of the new Stone County Detention Center, more defined and effective policies and procedures for county government management and community development. infrastructure that includes more high-speed Internet in rural areas.

Avey said the county faces its biggest challenges with only about $5 million in revenue per year, the overwhelming portion going to roads and law enforcement.

“It just doesn’t go that far and with the rising cost of fuel it comes back less and less.

Avey said he wanted to continue his public service role to complete the new prison. He said no one anticipated the construction complications that would come with the COVID pandemic, and the county is now ready to let the project go for a second bid in April.

Six of Stone County’s seven sheriff candidates spoke at the event.

Read the full story in the March 9, 2022 issue.