William "Billy" Sims

William “Billy” Sims

Political newcomer William H. “Billy” Sims unseated Walker County’s incumbent coroner Dewayne Wilson, who qualified as a write-in candidate after his name was struck from the Republican primary ballot, in the Nov. 3 general election.

According to unofficial results, Sims received 24,020 votes to Wilson’s 152 write-in votes, Walker County Elections and Registration Director Danielle Montgomery said, adding the results would be official after addressing the 1,477 unresolved write-in votes and certifying the results.

Neither candidate had responded by Wednesday afternoon to a request for comment on the outcome of the election.

Wilson

Wilson, who has held the coroner position since 2001, qualified in March to run for re-election and was expected to face off against Sims in the Republican primary. Wilson’s name was subsequently removed from that ballot because of a bounced check.

Wilson stated at the time he fought to have his name reinstated on the primary ballot that his effort to have his name reinstated on the ballot “is not about the money,” and the position pays less than $25,000 annually and requires him to be available 24/7. The job pays less today than when he took office.

After speaking with family, friends and attorneys, he committed to press forward with his re-election campaign, Wilson explained, adding that “The citizens of Walker County deserve the right to make that choice.”

Sims

“I believe that honesty, integrity and compassion need to be brought back to the Walker County coroner’s office,” Sims said on his Facebook page during the campaign.

Sims described himself as a born-again Christian, a Republican and a loving husband, father and grandfather. He has lived in Walker County for more than 30 years.

He has been employed at Moore Funeral Home in Trenton since 2000. He started his career with the Dade County ambulance service in 1974 and also worked for more than 20 years at Lane Funeral Home South Crest Chapel.

Catherine Edgemon is assistant editor for the Walker County Messenger in LaFayette, Ga., and the Catoosa County News in Ringgold, Ga.

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