UPDATE: Lynch wins PJC District 1 regent seat; runoff will decide between Norwood & Bell in District 7

eParisExtra logoA huge turnout on Saturday lifted District 7 incumbent Frankie Norwood into a tie with challenger Jim Bell, forcing a runoff in the Paris Junior College regents’ election.

Bell led Norwood by almost 2-to-1 after the early votes were counted, but about an hour after the polls closed, the Saturday vote was final, and it was heavily in Norwood’s favor — 43 to 9 over Bell. Charles Gilbert ran a distant third, getting 12 early votes and 3 votes on Saturday.

The date for the Bell-Norwood runoff has not been set.

Charles Lynch unseated District 4 incumbent Daigone Garner by a final vote of 105 to 30. Lynch won the early voting 65-18 and the Saturday vote 18-7.

Here are the final numbers for the PJC Regents’ election:

DISTRICT 4: Early Vote: Charles Lynch 65, Daigone Garner 18. Mail-in Ballots: Lynch 22, Garner 5. Saturday: Lynch 18, Garner 7. Final Vote: Lynch 105 (77.78%), Garner 30 (22.22%).

DISTRICT 7: Early Vote: Charles Gilbert 12, Jim Bell 55, Frankie Norwood 28. Mail-in Ballots: Gilbert 2, Bell 20, Norwood 13. Saturday: Gilbert 3, Bell 9, Norwood 43. Final Vote: Gilbert 17 (9.19%), Bell 84 (45.41%), Norwood 84 (45.41%).

By Charles Richards, eParisExtra

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Charles Richards Charles Richards moved to Paris in 2004 after retiring from a 40-year career in journalism – the last 26 years as a news writer and sports writer with The Associated Press in Dallas and Washington, D.C. In mid-2004, The Paris News coaxed him out of retirement, and he began covering the police, court and regional beat for The Paris News. Then in early 2005, he was switched to coverage of a sharply divided Paris City Council. He was appointed by the City Council in 2006 to the 12-member City Charter Review Commission, which extensively rewrote the outmoded document. His writing awards include two first-place awards in statewide competition for feature writing. The most recent was his 2005 story on a Paris doctor’s startling use of leeches in a successful attempt to re-attach a man’s severed ear. Over his career, Richards’ interview subjects include Alabama Gov. George Wallace, President Bill Clinton, President George W. Bush, David Koresh, Arnold Palmer, Muhammad Ali and numerous other political and sports figures. He is an alumnus of Texas Tech, where he was editor of the school newspaper. He lives in Paris with his wife, Barbara, who is retired after 30 years as a teacher and high school counselor.