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: 319704

Reported Deaths: 7369
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto22276267
Hinds20677421
Harrison18407317
Rankin13880282
Jackson13689248
Madison10249224
Lee10056176
Jones8464167
Forrest7827153
Lauderdale7260242
Lowndes6509150
Lamar634888
Lafayette6310121
Washington5420137
Bolivar4837133
Panola4669110
Oktibbeha466098
Pearl River4604147
Marshall4573105
Warren4440121
Pontotoc425373
Union415777
Monroe4155135
Neshoba4061179
Lincoln4008112
Hancock386687
Leflore3515125
Tate342486
Sunflower339491
Pike3369111
Alcorn325972
Scott320174
Yazoo314171
Adams307486
Itawamba305178
Copiah299966
Coahoma298784
Simpson298189
Tippah291968
Prentiss283861
Leake271974
Marion271280
Covington267283
Wayne264442
Grenada264087
George252051
Newton248663
Tishomingo231568
Winston229981
Jasper222148
Attala215073
Chickasaw210559
Holmes190374
Clay187854
Stone187833
Tallahatchie180041
Clarke178980
Calhoun174132
Yalobusha167840
Smith164034
Walthall135347
Greene131833
Lawrence131024
Montgomery128643
Noxubee128034
Perry127138
Amite126342
Carroll122330
Webster115032
Jefferson Davis108033
Tunica108027
Claiborne103130
Benton102325
Humphreys97533
Kemper96629
Franklin85023
Quitman82216
Choctaw79118
Wilkinson69532
Jefferson66228
Sharkey50917
Issaquena1696
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 548323

Reported Deaths: 11288
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson809531565
Mobile42066826
Madison35663525
Tuscaloosa26162458
Shelby25595254
Montgomery25081612
Baldwin21839313
Lee16265176
Calhoun14718325
Morgan14626285
Etowah14171363
Marshall12449230
Houston10764288
Elmore10295213
Limestone10182157
St. Clair10160251
Cullman9941201
Lauderdale9596249
DeKalb8967189
Talladega8458184
Walker7335280
Autauga7230113
Blount6944139
Jackson6922113
Colbert6414140
Coffee5627127
Dale4929114
Russell454941
Chilton4472116
Franklin431083
Covington4273122
Tallapoosa4136155
Escambia401780
Chambers3726124
Dallas3607156
Clarke352961
Marion3242106
Pike314078
Lawrence3129100
Winston283572
Bibb268464
Geneva257581
Marengo250665
Pickens236862
Barbour234659
Hale226878
Butler224071
Fayette218162
Henry193843
Cherokee187245
Randolph187044
Monroe179341
Washington170439
Macon162951
Clay160159
Crenshaw155657
Cleburne153244
Lamar146537
Lowndes142054
Wilcox127030
Bullock124242
Conecuh113430
Coosa111429
Perry108626
Sumter105732
Greene93534
Choctaw62025
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The humidity ramps up a bit more into Friday morning, and so will the heat. Temperatures will heat up a little more with heat index values climbing even more. There could be an isolated afternoon shower in spots, though most will stay dry. Rain chances increase some into the weekend as a tropical system approaches. But it now appears that many areas may dodge the heaviest rain.
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