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Republicans pick Reeves for governor

Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves speaking to supporters after his victory in the GOP primary runoff on August 27, 2019

Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves cruised to the Republican nomination for governor in Tuesday's runoff, avoiding an upset victory from former state Supreme Court Chief Bill Waller Jr.

Posted: Aug 27, 2019 7:00 PM
Updated: Aug 28, 2019 6:48 PM

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JACKSON, Miss. (AP/WTVA) — Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves cruised to the Republican nomination for governor in Tuesday's runoff, avoiding an upset victory from former state Supreme Court Chief Bill Waller Jr.

Tuesday's contests set the Nov. 5 general election fields in Mississippi as Republicans chose their nominees for governor and attorney general.

In the attorney general's runoff, state Treasurer Lynn Fitch held off a close challenge from longtime GOP figure Andy Taggart.

Republicans in the state's northern district chose former DeSoto County Supervisor John Caldwell as their nominee for transportation commissioner, while Democrats in the state's central district chose Jackson City Councilman De'Keither Stamps as their public service commission nominee.

Voters also decided nominees in some state legislative and county races, with two local sheriffs losing in their reelection bids.

Here's a look at statewide and regional races on Mississippi ballots:

GOVERNOR

Reeves held off Waller after the two spent the three weeks leading up to the runoff jousting about the direction Mississippi Republicans should take.

Awaiting Reeves in November are Democratic nominee and Attorney General Jim Hood, Constitution Party candidate Bob Hickingbottom and independent David Singletary.

Reeves ran as the true conservative, while Waller argued Mississippi needed to spend more on roads and expand health care coverage to more people while upholding GOP principles.

The two-term lieutenant governor had just missed a majority in the Aug. 6 primary. State Rep. Robert Foster finished third and backed Waller, but Reeves was winning in DeSoto County, home to Foster and key GOP stronghold.

ATTORNEY GENERAL

Two-term state treasurer Fitch defeated Taggart, who was chief of staff to Republican Gov. Kirk Fordice in the 1990s and a Madison County supervisor.

Fitch says she wants to fight opioids and human trafficking and protect vulnerable Mississippians from harm. State Rep. Taggart said he was running to fight illegal drugs after one of his sons took his own life after struggling with them. Mark Baker placed third in the three-person GOP race and endorsed Taggart.

Fitch will face Democratic nominee Jennifer Riley Collins, a military veteran and former director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Mississippi. Collins was unopposed.

TRANSPORTATION COMMISSIONER

Caldwell, a 58-year-old Nesbit resident, beat Oxford defense consultant Geoffrey Yoste in Tuesday's runoff in the northern district. Caldwell had made two previous unsuccessful bids for the office.

Caldwell supports increased money for maintenance but is also focused strongly on building new roads. He suggests north Mississippi isn't getting its share of the state's budget and wants an internal review before any funding increase. Caldwell says his "heart is not in a fuel tax" but an increase might be necessary.

Democrat Joey Grist, a former state lawmaker who was unopposed for his party's nomination, will face Caldwell in November. Incumbent Republican Mike Tagert isn't running again.

PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSIONER

Stamps defeated frequent candidate Dorothy "Dot" Benford in Tuesday's runoff in Mississippi's central district.

The 42-year-old Stamps wants commission staff to work with city and county governments and school districts to save energy and cut utility bills. The retired Marine says lower utility bills would give governments more money to spend elsewhere.

It was at least the 10th run for office for the 76-year-old Benford, who ran unsuccessfully for Congress five times. She also ran unsuccessfully for Hinds County tax assessor, Jackson mayor, transportation commissioner and Jackson City Council.

Stamps raised $53,000, while Benford raised less than $1,000.

Republican Brent Bailey, who beat Nic Lott in his party's primary, will face Stamps in November's general election. Incumbent Cecil Brown, a Democrat, is retiring after one term.

LEGISLATURE

Only four races were on the ballot locally, but some of them had close finishes.

Kathy Chism apparently defeated Kevin Walls to take the GOP nomination in Senate District 3, which includes Benton and Union counties and some of Pontotoc County, but there were a little more than 100 votes separating the two.

The Republican runoff for Senate District 8 was another close race with Benjamin Suber winning over Stephen Griffin after it originally appeared Griffin was the winner. Suber will face Democrat Kegan Coleman. He won the party's runoff by soundly defeating Kathryn York in the district that covers Calhoun and Chickasaw counties and parts of Lee, Pontotoc and Yalobusha counties.

Voters in House District 10, which includes some of Lafayette County, chose Brady Williamson over Kelly Morris for the Republican nomination.

COUNTY

Local sheriff's races had some interesting outcomes with a couple of incumbents losing in their bids for re-election.

Montgomery County Sheriff Bubba Nix lost the Democratic primary runoff to Jeff Tompkins by more than 100 votes while Yalobusha County Sheriff Lance Humphreys was defeated in the Democratic primary runoff by Luther Folson.

Other races for sheriff included a GOP runoff in Lowndes County where state narcotics agent Eddie Hawkins advanced to the November election by defeating Chief Deputy Greg Wright and David Gore, a former game warden, narrowly defeated Casey Henderson, a Eupora police officer, to advance to the general election by claiming the Democratic nomination.

Marilyn Reed and Phyllis Dye won Republican runoffs for judgeships in Lee County Justice Court.

With less than 100 votes, Kim Hood apparently defeated Barbara Spraggins in the Democratic runoff to become Clay County's new circuit clerk.

Laurie Lockett won the Democratic runoff for tax assessor/collector in Montgomery County.

Democrat Rebecca Oaks and Republican Josh McNatt are the unoffcial winners in their respective runoffs for Tishomingo County circuit clerk.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 30900

Reported Deaths: 1111
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds249840
DeSoto159416
Madison130034
Jones112449
Neshoba98871
Rankin93412
Harrison91211
Lauderdale90979
Forrest86942
Scott77115
Jackson62216
Copiah60215
Washington5849
Leake57819
Holmes55341
Lee54718
Wayne54513
Oktibbeha54126
Warren51518
Yazoo5096
Leflore48751
Grenada4835
Lowndes48313
Lincoln46034
Lamar4587
Pike43112
Monroe40130
Lafayette3914
Sunflower3727
Attala36023
Covington3565
Panola3506
Newton3399
Bolivar33414
Simpson3173
Adams31118
Pontotoc2866
Tate28310
Marion28111
Chickasaw27718
Claiborne27410
Noxubee2638
Jasper2626
Winston2616
Pearl River25432
Clay25010
Marshall2323
Smith21811
Clarke20724
Union2079
Coahoma2016
Walthall1995
Kemper17914
Lawrence1772
Yalobusha1707
Carroll16511
Humphreys1479
Tallahatchie1364
Itawamba1358
Montgomery1322
Calhoun1304
Tippah13011
Hancock12813
Webster12710
Jefferson Davis1114
Prentiss1083
Jefferson1073
Greene1058
Tunica1003
Wilkinson949
Amite912
George883
Tishomingo801
Quitman760
Choctaw744
Alcorn692
Perry664
Stone651
Franklin452
Sharkey370
Benton360
Issaquena91
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 44375

Reported Deaths: 984
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson5221152
Montgomery4127103
Mobile4080134
Tuscaloosa228842
Marshall171110
Madison14307
Lee138437
Shelby128423
Morgan11025
Walker93924
Elmore92514
Franklin89514
Dallas8809
Baldwin8649
Etowah73913
DeKalb7195
Butler63328
Chambers62927
Autauga60712
Tallapoosa59169
Russell5520
Unassigned50323
Houston4964
Limestone4950
Lauderdale4906
Lowndes47221
Cullman4524
Pike4295
Colbert3956
St. Clair3822
Coffee3772
Bullock36910
Covington3587
Calhoun3545
Escambia3506
Barbour3492
Hale31121
Talladega3097
Marengo30211
Wilcox2918
Dale2880
Sumter28512
Clarke2746
Jackson2732
Winston2583
Chilton2462
Blount2351
Monroe2352
Pickens2356
Marion22413
Conecuh2097
Randolph2069
Choctaw19512
Macon1949
Bibb1901
Greene1868
Perry1771
Henry1343
Crenshaw1253
Washington1097
Lawrence1080
Cherokee977
Geneva800
Lamar771
Fayette701
Clay652
Coosa581
Cleburne361
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