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Governor primaries headline Mississippi ballots on Tuesday

MGN Online

The race to become Mississippi's next governor is a heated one. Mississippians can vote during the Primary Election on Tuesday.

Posted: Aug 5, 2019 11:49 AM
Updated: Oct 2, 2019 1:28 PM

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Mississippians head to the polls Tuesday to decide Democratic and Republican nominees for a host of offices from governor to county supervisor.

The crowded ballots will be headlined by parallel contests for governor. On the Republican side, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves is trying to fend off challenges from former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Bill Waller Jr. and state Rep. Robert Foster. On the Democratic side, Attorney General Jim Hood is challenged by seven candidates, including Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith and retired Jackson State University administrator Velesha P. Williams.

GOP voters will also weigh in on contested primaries for lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state and treasurer, while Democrats will decide a nominee for secretary of state. Voters in some parts of the state will also see contested primaries for public service commissioner and transportation commissioner.

Aug. 27 runoffs will be held in any races where a candidate doesn't get a majority Tuesday, while winners advance to the Nov. 5 general election.

Here's a look at the key races on Mississippi ballots:

GOVERNOR

Reeves and Hood were the clear favorites for governor in their respective parties at the beginning of election season, and they have focused their fire on each other. Other candidates, though, are trying to derail them. Reeves says Hood is a liberal tied to the national Democratic party. Waller presents himself as a pragmatist who would do more to improve roads and extend health insurance coverage. Foster took a star turn when he refused to have a female reporter for online news outlet Mississippi Today accompany him on a campaign trip. Hood argues that a less partisan approach would benefit Mississippians, and he criticizes Republican tax cuts as aimed at corporations, as opposed to his own proposal to remove the sales tax on groceries.

LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR

Three-term Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann faces little known Shane Quick of Lake Cormorant in a Republican primary, with the winner facing Democratic state Rep. Jay Hughes in November.

ATTORNEY GENERAL

Republicans will choose among three candidates: state Treasurer Lynn Fitch, longtime Republican activist Andy Taggart and state Rep. Mark Baker. Baker promises an activist agenda on hot-button topics like immigration and religious freedom, while he also says he'll eliminate contracts with outside lawyers that he has long criticized. Taggart notes his experience as legal adviser to Gov. Kirk Fordice and says he's running to fight illegal drugs after one of his sons took his own life after struggling with drugs. Fitch says she wants to fight opioids and human trafficking and protect vulnerable Mississippians from harm. The Republican nominee will face Jennifer Riley Collins, a military veteran and former director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Mississippi.

SECRETARY OF STATE

The Republican primary between state Sen. Michael Watson and southern district Public Service Commissioner Sam Britton has been contentious, with the two frequently trading accusations. The Democratic race has been quieter, with former Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree and Lexington resident Maryra Hodges Hunt seeking the nomination. Britton wants to expand the office's role in promoting economic growth. Watson wants the secretary of state to take over issuing driver's licenses. DuPree wants a no-excuses early voting period.

TREASURER

State Sen. Eugene "Buck" Clarke and David McRae are touting money management skills as they compete for the Republican nomination. Clarke is an accountant who helped write state budgets as Senate Appropriations Committee chairman. McRae is an investment manager descended from a family that owned department stores and is making his second run for treasurer, spending heavily from his own money. The winner faces Democrat Addie Lee Green, a former Bolton alderwoman.

PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSIONER

Northern district Democrat Brandon Presley is unopposed. In the central district, Democrats will choose among frequent candidate Dorothy "Dot" Benford, current commission employee Ryan Brown, lawyer Bruce Burton, and Jackson City Councilman De'Keither A. Stamps. Central district Republicans will choose from 2015 nominee Brent Bailey and Mississippi Development Authority employee Nic Lott. In the southern district, former Ocean Springs Mayor Connie Moran faces Sugar Stallings of Biloxi for the Democratic nomination, while Pascagoula Mayor Dane Maxwell faces Kiln contractor Kelvin Schulz.

TRANSPORTATION COMMISSIONER

The northern district features a five-way Republican battle among Trey Bowman, John Caldwell, E.A. Hathcock, Jeremy Martin, and Geoffrey Yoste. The winner faces Democrat Joey Grist, who is unopposed. In the central district, state Sen. Willie Simmons faces Edwards Mayor Marcus Wallace for the Democratic nod, while Brandon Mayor Butch Lee is seeking the GOP nomination against Ricky Pennington Jr. of Vicksburg. In the southern district, incumbent Tom King is challenged in the Republican primary by former state Sen. Tony Smith and former Mississippi Department of Transportation employee Chad Toney. No Democrats qualified in the southern district.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 145636

Reported Deaths: 3745
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto973199
Hinds9668197
Harrison6898109
Jackson6178119
Rankin5319100
Lee487695
Madison4666106
Forrest371386
Jones346788
Lauderdale3355144
Lafayette317549
Washington3122107
Lamar283449
Oktibbeha240861
Bolivar240184
Lowndes229763
Neshoba2177115
Panola215849
Marshall209650
Leflore201490
Pontotoc196128
Monroe191477
Sunflower190555
Lincoln186865
Warren172657
Tate165451
Union163925
Pike160658
Copiah159540
Yazoo152039
Scott150729
Coahoma148743
Itawamba148234
Pearl River146567
Alcorn146327
Simpson145153
Prentiss141230
Adams137949
Grenada137745
Leake131943
Holmes126561
Tippah123030
George122324
Covington119737
Winston119124
Wayne116223
Hancock115939
Marion111646
Attala109833
Tishomingo106542
Chickasaw104132
Newton103629
Tallahatchie96327
Clarke88853
Clay87127
Jasper81222
Walthall75328
Stone73114
Calhoun72913
Montgomery72125
Carroll70614
Lawrence70314
Yalobusha70027
Noxubee69717
Smith69616
Perry65426
Tunica59619
Greene58422
Claiborne57616
Jefferson Davis55017
Humphreys52918
Amite51814
Benton48717
Quitman4816
Webster42114
Kemper41918
Wilkinson38722
Jefferson34211
Franklin3265
Choctaw3117
Sharkey30717
Issaquena1124
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 239318

Reported Deaths: 3532
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson31391491
Mobile19562361
Tuscaloosa12813154
Madison12741146
Montgomery12198235
Shelby1000577
Baldwin847398
Lee764466
Morgan634348
Calhoun6112115
Marshall607954
Etowah606565
Houston517038
DeKalb474736
Cullman428038
Limestone413744
St. Clair409055
Elmore400762
Lauderdale393653
Walker3588108
Talladega343453
Jackson307624
Colbert301941
Blount285539
Autauga268641
Franklin247833
Coffee239715
Dale230354
Dallas224531
Russell22053
Chilton219638
Covington216833
Escambia197431
Chambers173749
Tallapoosa173391
Pike157514
Clarke156319
Marion136535
Winston129923
Lawrence124836
Geneva12028
Pickens119418
Marengo119124
Barbour117010
Bibb116217
Butler114441
Randolph100921
Cherokee100824
Hale94531
Clay90223
Washington90219
Fayette87316
Henry8496
Lowndes79129
Monroe78111
Cleburne75714
Macon72321
Crenshaw70730
Bullock69119
Conecuh68314
Perry6756
Lamar6508
Wilcox63118
Sumter57122
Choctaw41913
Greene41418
Coosa3374
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