New election commissioner observes processBy BETH BUNCH,
Just one day after being sworn in as Forrest County’s new District 1 election commissioner, Gentry Mordica, though not certified, unofficially hit the ground running.
“I visited all of the precincts that were open in my district during Tuesday's election, met many of the poll workers and observed how things were done,” Mordica said Wednesday morning. “I met with the other Election Commissioners at the Courthouse Tuesday evening to observe them as they performed their duties and participated in the process the best I could… without getting in their way.”
Mordica took the oath of office Monday following his appointment and a unanimous vote by the Forrest County Board of Supervisors during its regular monthly meeting. Mordica was appointed by Board President David Hogan to fill the post recently vacated by Tyler Woods.
Woods’ resignation was accepted by the supervisors during the Sept. 16 board meeting, after just nine months in office. Wood, believed to be the youngest election commissioner ever elected in the state, defeated six-term incumbent Charles Phillips by a vote of 2,659 to 2,360. Wood campaigned on bringing fair elections back to the county.
“We’re fortunate he’s (Mordica) willing to serve as an election commissioner,” said Hogan, whose district Mordica will serve. “He’s subleased part of his business out to free up time to serve and was willing to answer the call.”
Mordica said he had considered running for local office many years ago, but “decided I didn’t have the temperament to hold office or the personality to run.
“It feels really good to be considered competent to hold such a position and to be trusted by District 1 Supervisor David Hogan to perform the duties for which I am appointed,” he said.
A 1983 graduate of Hattiesburg High School, Mordica earned a bachelors degree in business in 1987 and his masters of business adminstration in management in 1971, both from the University of Southern Mississippi. A resident of Dixie, he is the owner of Dixie Mini-Storage.
Mordica will serve until November 2018 at which time a special election will be held to fill the rest of Wood's term, which will end in January 2021.
As a first-time commissioner, Mordica is required to go through ECAM (Election Commissioners Association of Mississipi) Elections Seminar and Certification Training conducted by Secretary of State Delbert Hoseman’s office, thus he had to officially sit out his first election, the House District 102 race, held just one day following being sworn in.
It is the duty of election commissioners to maintain accurate voter rolls and pollbooks. Voter roll maintenance is an ongoing duty of the position.
Mordica will maintain an office alongside other Forrest County commissioners, Barbara Johnson, District 2; Lucretia “Sug” Jenkins, District 3; Nancy Faye Noble, District 4 and Sue Polk, District 5.
Election commissioners are required to work 130 days with a five-hour a day minimum.
Mordica, the son of George Mordica and the late Betty Mordica, is married to Marcia Luckie Mordica, who works as Epic Support Services director at Hattiesburg Clinic. She is a 1983 graduate of Oak Grove High School and USM where she earned a bachelors degree in journalism and her masters in public health. They have two children, Matt, a freshman at Jones County Junior College and Jaclyn, a sophomore at Forrest County AHS. He is brother-in-law to Forrest County attorney Pamela Luckie Castle.
Mordica hasn’t received his Forrest County email yet, but constituents may contact the Forrest County Electiton Commissioners Office with any concerns, firstname.lastname@example.org or 601.545.6076.