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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.

Confirmed Cases: 91935

Reported Deaths: 2780
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds6903153
DeSoto532153
Harrison368771
Jackson334367
Madison318086
Rankin313473
Lee254066
Jones236078
Forrest231069
Washington215671
Lafayette203039
Lauderdale1984123
Bolivar177465
Oktibbeha173749
Lamar156633
Neshoba1524103
Panola140926
Sunflower138543
Lowndes138457
Warren136650
Leflore134380
Pontotoc120416
Pike120148
Monroe117665
Scott115925
Copiah115433
Coahoma110927
Holmes108458
Marshall106714
Grenada104535
Lincoln104453
Yazoo103429
Simpson100142
Union96524
Tate94537
Leake93535
Adams89135
Wayne87121
Pearl River84850
Marion83633
Covington79321
Prentiss78617
Alcorn75310
Newton74722
Itawamba74121
George73913
Tallahatchie73418
Winston71919
Tishomingo65035
Attala63625
Chickasaw63524
Tippah63516
Walthall58925
Clay56216
Hancock55420
Noxubee54015
Jasper53615
Clarke52538
Smith51714
Calhoun50612
Tunica47213
Montgomery45020
Claiborne44916
Lawrence42212
Yalobusha41314
Perry39016
Humphreys36915
Quitman3625
Stone34611
Greene33516
Webster32813
Jefferson Davis32211
Carroll30812
Amite30710
Wilkinson30117
Kemper28515
Sharkey25812
Jefferson2359
Benton2151
Franklin1863
Choctaw1775
Issaquena1033
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 128097

Reported Deaths: 2264
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson18648332
Mobile12949288
Montgomery8560170
Madison736573
Tuscaloosa7015112
Lee558259
Shelby550149
Baldwin502148
Marshall376342
Etowah326344
Calhoun321139
Morgan312925
Houston260621
Elmore247547
DeKalb230119
St. Clair218134
Walker217780
Talladega199925
Limestone191919
Cullman180017
Franklin172728
Dallas172526
Russell16912
Autauga162424
Lauderdale159231
Colbert157224
Escambia154324
Blount150413
Jackson146610
Chilton143325
Dale128042
Covington127027
Coffee12388
Pike11329
Tallapoosa112483
Chambers110642
Clarke104417
Marion91428
Butler90238
Barbour8097
Marengo69319
Winston68512
Lowndes64327
Pickens62214
Bibb6179
Hale60828
Bullock58514
Randolph58512
Lawrence57620
Monroe5708
Washington54513
Geneva5404
Perry5356
Wilcox52911
Cherokee52816
Clay5187
Conecuh51611
Crenshaw51531
Macon46619
Henry4524
Sumter41719
Fayette4128
Choctaw34212
Lamar3302
Cleburne3116
Greene29915
Coosa1573
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