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.

Confirmed Cases: 15229

Reported Deaths: 723
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds99925
Lauderdale73561
Madison72023
Scott65012
Neshoba63038
Jones59825
Forrest55338
DeSoto5337
Rankin4217
Leake42112
Holmes39728
Copiah3104
Jackson30513
Attala29216
Yazoo2734
Newton2714
Leflore25831
Harrison2577
Lincoln25628
Monroe25525
Lamar2355
Oktibbeha23512
Lowndes2119
Pearl River20931
Pike20211
Adams19615
Noxubee1856
Wayne1771
Warren1719
Washington1687
Covington1652
Bolivar16011
Jasper1574
Smith15011
Lee1496
Kemper14411
Clarke14318
Chickasaw13312
Lafayette1314
Coahoma1214
Carroll11711
Marion1159
Clay1124
Winston1121
Claiborne1112
Lawrence1021
Simpson1010
Yalobusha905
Hancock9011
Tate891
Grenada893
Wilkinson889
Itawamba877
Union835
Marshall833
Montgomery831
Sunflower813
Jefferson Davis772
Tippah7311
Panola703
Webster691
Calhoun644
Humphreys607
Amite601
Walthall550
Tunica543
Prentiss523
Perry503
Choctaw432
Jefferson421
Tishomingo320
Pontotoc323
Stone300
Franklin282
Tallahatchie271
Quitman260
George251
Alcorn171
Benton150
Greene121
Sharkey70
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 17359

Reported Deaths: 618
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile2191115
Jefferson1780102
Montgomery163238
Tuscaloosa73814
Marshall6879
Franklin5457
Lee54033
Shelby50319
Tallapoosa42364
Butler40217
Chambers35325
Walker3442
Elmore3398
Madison3274
Baldwin2839
Dallas2603
Morgan2511
Etowah24811
DeKalb2433
Lowndes23812
Coffee2291
Sumter2206
Autauga2164
Houston2094
Bullock2034
Pike1980
Colbert1782
Russell1670
Marengo1636
Lauderdale1612
Hale1598
Calhoun1543
Choctaw1518
Barbour1501
Wilcox1447
Clarke1422
Cullman1260
Randolph1257
Marion12111
St. Clair1181
Pickens1114
Dale1100
Talladega1093
Chilton1001
Limestone940
Greene944
Winston880
Covington771
Jackson772
Crenshaw763
Macon754
Henry742
Bibb721
Washington686
Blount611
Escambia573
Lawrence480
Geneva400
Conecuh391
Coosa381
Monroe372
Perry370
Cherokee373
Clay272
Lamar230
Fayette150
Cleburne141
Unassigned00
Tupelo
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