Wife appointed to fill election commissioner vacancy

The DeSoto County Board of Supervisors today (Monday, Jan. 4) appointed Barbara Chatham to the position of District 2 Election Commissioner.  The seat became vacant with the death of her husband, Barry Chatham, on Dec. 24, 2020.  Barry Chatham had served as Commissioner since 2004 and had won re-election in November.

DeSoto County Circuit Court Clerk Dale K. Thompson administers the oath of office to Barbara Chatham as a photo of her late husband Barry Chatham is shown on the screen Monday. Chatham has been appointed to serve as District 2 Commissioner until a special election is held in November. Barry Chatham passed away on Christmas Eve after being re-elected in the November general election. (Courtesy photo)

Circuit Court Clerk Dale Thompson administered Barbara Chatham’s oath of office as a photo of Barry appeared on monitors in the Supervisors’ board room.

She will serve as Election Commissioner through the end of the year.  A Special Election will be held in November to fill the remainder of Chatham’s term which ends in 2024.

The DeSoto County Board of Supervisors also issued a resolution in memory of Election Commissioner Barry Chatham.

It reads in part, “The dedicated and invaluable service rendered by Election Commissioner Barry Chatham was exemplified in a forthright and positive manner which earned him the respect of his poll workers and the community.  Barry was a valuable contributor to the development of the DeSoto County election process, being careful to meet the letter of the law in all respects.  DeSoto County is stronger because of his contributions.”

Circuit Court Clerk Dale Thompson also swore in District 1 Election Commissioner Laura Edler, District 4 Election Commissioner Sissie Ferguson, and District 5 Election Commissioner David Ross.

DeSoto County Government News Release

From left, Supervisors Jessie Medlin, Ray Denton, Mark Gardner, new District 2 Election Commissioner Barbara Chatham, with Supervisors Lee Caldwell and Michael Lee. Chatham was given a resolution from the Board of Supervisors in recognition of Barry Chatham’s service as election commissioner. Chatham passed away on Christmas Eve. He was re-elected to the position in the November general election. (Courtesy photo)

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