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Local officials take their oaths of office

The people chosen by Lafayette County voters to run the county and represent their concerns locally and in the state Legislature took the oath of office Wednesday at various swearing-in ceremonies that took place throughout the day.

At 9 a.m. at the Lafayette County Courthouse, the two newly elected Lafayette County supervisors, Kevin Frye for District 1 and David Rikard for District 3, were sworn in by Circuit Court Judge Andrew Howorth. Joining them were incumbent District 5 Supervisor Mike Roberts who retained his seat in the November election and Circuit Court Clerk Baretta Mosley who ran unopposed. Election Commissioners Max Hipp and Lola Pearson also were sworn in.

Before the group took their oath, Howorth called the ceremony a joyous occasion and a celebration of democracy.

“Here are these people that you and I have put our trust in to see about our affairs and our business, who are elected by the people in the good old-fashioned way,” Howorth said. “It is pure grassroots democracy and I’m proud to play a small role.”

The new officials swore to uphold the United States and Mississippi constitutions and to “faithfully discharge the duties of the offices to which they were elected.”

After being sworn in, Frye and Rikard both said they were excited about “going to work” on Monday when the Board of Supervisors meets at 9 a.m.

“I’m honored to have Judge Howorth swear me in; he hired me to work for him when I was a young lawyer,” Frye said. “I’m excited to serve out community.”

Rikard said he’s already received some phone calls from his constituents on a variety of different concerns.

“I’m anxious to get started and ready to act on some of those phone calls,” he said after the ceremony.

Roberts said he was grateful to be re-elected and looks forward to helping Lafayette County in the coming four years.

At 10 a.m., 12 county officials were sworn in at the Lafayette County Chancery Building by Judge Glen Alderson including Sheriff F.D. “Buddy” East, Constable Northern District Greg “Spanky” Pettis; Constable Southern District Jack Theobald; County Prosecutor Jay Chain; District 2 Supervisor Jeff Busby; District 4 Supervisor Chad McLarty; Tax Assessor/Collector Sylvia Baker; Chancery Clerk Sherry Wall and Coroner Rocky Kennedy.

“I am honored to complete the next four-year term as coroner in Lafayette County,” Kennedy told the EAGLE after the ceremony. “Each day my office will strive to uphold and fulfill the confidence of being re-elected by the people of Lafayette County.”

Back at the Lafayette County Courthouse at 4 p.m., newly elected House Representative Jay Hughes, who served as an Oxford alderman when he was elected in November, had his own swearing-in ceremony where he took the oath of office, administered by retired Circuit Court Judge Henry Lackey who had a little fun at Hughes’ expense before swearing Hughes into office.

“You are an unusual person — a unique person, a different kind of person,” Lackey said before adding, “and you are an outstanding person.”

Hughes said while state officials are generally sworn in in Jackson, he wanted his done locally in his hometown. He said he asked Lackey to administer the oath because he believed Lackey to be a man of integrity and honor.

“He represents all that is good in the legal system and he is the kind of person I inspire to be,” Hughes said.

Hughes said he was humbled, honored and appreciative to have been elected and eager to begin representing Oxford in Jackson.