In voting Tuesday in Winston, Kemper and Noxubee Counties, Gale Gregory led the 16-candidate field with an unofficial tally of 1370 votes.
Carolyn Hampton was second with 620 votes. No one gained a majority which means a runoff is necessary. It's set for Tuesday, June 15.
Both candidates are from Louisville. Hampton is a special education case manager for the Louisville public schools. Gregory, a farmer, is a former teacher and administrator in Winston County.
This election fills the seat vacated by the resignation of Bobby Moody, who becomes deputy director of the state Medicaid program on July 1.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.