Herman Furniss served on the Coahoma County Election Commission since its inception.
Furniss, who resides in Rena Lara, was elected in 1968 when election commissions began in the state of Mississippi and served for 49½ years until he was forced to resign June 3 due to health issues. He was 86 years old when celebrating his 50th anniversary of being elected.
The Coahoma County Board of Supervisors recognized Furniss during the Wednesday, Aug. 15 meeting with a resolution in his honor. District 5 supervisor Will Young is in the same district as Furniss and read the resolution.
State Sen. Robert Jackson and State Rep. Orlando Paden also read resolutions in Furniss’ honor.
“Words can’t express all the things that’s in my heart, but it’s been good,” Furniss said in front of friends, family members and other election commissioners. “It’s been a good stretch of time. I thank everybody that served.”
Furniss’ younger brother, former State Sen. Delma Furniss, praised his work.
“He’s guided me through a lot of years,” he said. “I am going through some difficult times myself, but I’ve always looked up to him. Forty-nine-and-a-half years, that’s a long time. That’s week after week, month after month, year after year of dedicated, conscientious love for the voters and citizens of Coahoma County.”
Delma said he and Herman shared a lot of thoughts, but never asked anything personal. He jokingly asked former Coahoma County sheriff and current election commissioner Andrew Thompson the salary his brother made in 49½ years in an effort to show Herman and the other commissioners were not paid.
Virginia Burchfield was appointed to serve in Furniss’ spot until there was an election to determine who would finish the term that runs through 2020. She was appointed after the time candidates could file to run for the office in November, so the election will be in 2019.