STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Qualifying ends for state, county elections

Two local state lawmakers make surprising moves on the final day of qualifying for the 2019 elections in Mississippi.

Posted: Mar 1, 2019 5:10 PM
Updated: Mar 2, 2019 11:31 AM

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The latest on qualifying for Mississippi elections (all times local):

6:45 p.m.

With the close of qualifying at 5 p.m. Friday, some candidates in Mississippi's upcoming 2019 election have no major party or independent opposition.

Republican auditor Shad White, who was appointed to his post by Gov. Phil Bryant and has never run for office before, faces neither a Republican primary opponent nor a Democratic general election opponent.

Northern District Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley, a Democrat, also has drawn no major-party opposition.

Democrats qualified no candidates for transportation commissioner in the southern district, meaning the winner of a Republican primary between incumbent Tom King, former state Sen. Tony Smith and Chad Toney will be unopposed in the general election.

A number of lawmakers are also unopposed.

The top of the ticket could feature the most competitive governor's race since 2003, with Democratic Attorney General Jim Hood and Republican Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves the favorites in their respective primaries.

Voters will also elect a new lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state and treasurer.

5:35 p.m.

Some local sheriffs will have a quiet election season.

Chickasaw County Sheriff Jim Meyers and Pontotoc County Sheriff Leo Mask will run unopposed in this year's county elections.

Most other local races for sheriff will have some competition.

In Lowndes County, three Republicans and one independent are running to replace incumbent Mike Arledge, who decided not to seek another four-year term.

Monroe County Sheriff Cecil Cantrell has two opponents in the Democratic primary.  The winner takes on former Sheriff Andy Hood, who has no opposition in the GOP primary.

In Yalobusha County, Sheriff Lance Humphreys faces four challengers in the Democratic primary with the winner taking on independent Mark Fulco.

And eight people have filed to run for circuit clerk of Tishomingo County since incumbent Donna Dill is not running again.

4:45 p.m.

A third high-profile Republican is jumping into his party's primary to succeed four-term Democrat Jim Hood, Mississippi's current attorney general who's running for governor.

Andy Taggart, a Madison lawyer, announced Friday that he would seek the GOP nomination, joining state Treasurer Lynn Fitch and state Rep. Mark Baker.

Taggart was chief of staff under Gov. Kirk Fordice and served a term as a Madison County supervisor. He's also a former executive director of the state Republican Party.

He's swung away from many Mississippi Republicans in recent years, though, chairing the state campaign of Ohio Gov. John Kasich and remaining a vocal critic of President Donald Trump.

The only Democrat who has announced she is running is Jennifer Riley Collins. She's the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Mississippi and served 32 years as a military intelligence officer.

___

4:15 p.m.

Even before qualifying closes Friday, Democrats are losing three more incumbents in the Mississippi House of Representatives.

House Minority Leader David Baria of Bay St. Louis says he's leaving the Legislature after one term in the state Senate and two terms in the state House. Baria ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Senate last year, losing to incumbent Republican Roger Wicker.

In the meantime, Rep. Nick Bain of Corinth says he's switching parties to run as a Republican. House Speaker Philip Gunn announced the switch, sending out a statement from Bain saying he's "tired of sitting on the sidelines" and "ready to be part of the policy-making in Mississippi."

Nine-term Rep. Steve Holland of Plantersville says he's qualifying for re-election as an independent. He faced a Democratic primary challenger.

The switches leave Democrats with only 44 members of the 122-member House, below the 48 needed to block legislation requiring a supermajority. There are only eight remaining white Democrats in the House. Of those Baria and Preston Sullivan of Okolona are retiring, while Jay Hughes of Oxford is running for lieutenant governor.

___

2 p.m.

The field is firming up for Mississippi's 2019 statewide election, as qualifying closes at 5 p.m. Friday.

The top of the ticket could feature the most competitive governor's race since 2003, with Democratic Attorney General Jim Hood and Republican Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves the favorites in their respective primaries.

Each man will have to get past some serious challengers, though, with Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith challenging Hood in the Democratic field. On the GOP side, former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Bill Waller Jr. and state Rep. Robert Foster of Hernando will try to upset Reeves.

Voters will also elect a new lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state and treasurer.

Republicans will try to maintain their supermajority in both houses of the Legislature.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 517138

Reported Deaths: 10306
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison35086559
DeSoto33512432
Hinds32826644
Jackson24938392
Rankin22621405
Lee16564245
Madison14986283
Jones14195248
Forrest13865260
Lauderdale12343323
Lowndes11401193
Lamar10715140
Pearl River9762244
Lafayette8898143
Hancock7854132
Washington7562169
Oktibbeha7246138
Monroe7106179
Pontotoc7071110
Warren6915179
Panola6815136
Neshoba6762210
Marshall6751142
Bolivar6484151
Union647099
Alcorn5969108
Pike5953157
Lincoln5550136
George511380
Prentiss511086
Tippah498483
Itawamba4916107
Scott479599
Tate4790118
Adams4789125
Leflore4765144
Copiah458995
Simpson4587117
Yazoo458692
Wayne444372
Covington435895
Sunflower4338106
Marion4313112
Coahoma4263111
Leake414491
Newton396482
Tishomingo390294
Grenada3799109
Stone366466
Attala342290
Jasper341667
Chickasaw320867
Winston319092
Clay314378
Clarke302095
Calhoun289550
Holmes273789
Smith271452
Yalobusha246547
Tallahatchie233153
Greene225549
Walthall222266
Lawrence221142
Perry214656
Amite210657
Webster207248
Noxubee188943
Montgomery182857
Carroll176341
Jefferson Davis175043
Tunica164139
Benton153539
Kemper145641
Choctaw138027
Claiborne134939
Humphreys132639
Franklin127130
Quitman107928
Wilkinson106539
Jefferson97334
Sharkey65321
Issaquena1957
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 849409

Reported Deaths: 16199
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1165042004
Mobile744951384
Madison53605739
Shelby38474373
Baldwin38236590
Tuscaloosa36225644
Montgomery34599784
Lee25712264
Calhoun22652520
Morgan22569411
Etowah20084521
Marshall18878318
Houston17806426
St. Clair16987359
Limestone16220222
Cullman16183306
Elmore15967295
Lauderdale15126308
Talladega14275302
DeKalb13099271
Walker12202380
Blount10803193
Autauga10566157
Jackson10237196
Coffee9447192
Colbert9396210
Dale9052192
Tallapoosa7291202
Russell711965
Chilton7101171
Covington6985197
Escambia6972146
Franklin6379108
Chambers5815142
Marion5451132
Dallas5307210
Pike5135109
Clarke485986
Lawrence4857130
Winston4804111
Geneva4658137
Bibb436795
Barbour370880
Butler3446101
Marengo342593
Monroe338666
Randolph338567
Pickens335590
Fayette332785
Henry321566
Cherokee321264
Hale320289
Crenshaw262278
Washington256952
Cleburne255460
Lamar253755
Clay253169
Macon246667
Conecuh193962
Coosa186248
Lowndes178468
Wilcox178338
Bullock152845
Perry141940
Sumter139841
Greene130845
Choctaw94928
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Mostly Cloudy
44° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 41°
Columbus
Partly Cloudy
41° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 41°
Oxford
Partly Cloudy
39° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 39°
Starkville
Partly Cloudy
41° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 41°
Temperatures return closer to normal for Wednesday with the shower staying south of us for the middle of the week, but rain chances start returning Thursday and could include thunderstorms, some possibly strong by Friday late in the day.
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather