Mississippi Republicans set a record on Tuesday night with over 365,000 primary voters and for the first time in history surpassed the number of Democrat party primary voters. Just shy of 300,000 Mississippi Democrats came to the polls, an almost identical turnout to 2015. Republican primary voters totaled 273,000 in 2015.
GOP Primary: With Tate Reeves holding 49% of the vote and Waller reporting around 33% percent a runoff will be held on August 27 to determine the GOP gubernatorial nominee. Reeves came up about 4,000 votes shy of the required votes needed to avoid the runoff. However, he did capture 72 of the 82 counties (with two counties not reporting results as of press time).
Robert Foster conceded the race around 10:00 p.m. after securing roughly 18% of the votes.
Public Service Commission Race
Democratic Primary Central District:
There was no clear winner for the Democratic nominee for Public Service Commissioner for the Central District. De’Keither Stamps held strong at 46% with Dot Benford at 30%. And both will head to a runoff. Commissioner Cecil Brown’s chosen successor, Ryan Brown, places near the end of the field of candidates.
Republican Primary Central District:
Brent Bailey took a commanding lead over Nic Lott to secure the Republican nomination for Central District Public Service Commissioner. Bailey held 75% of the vote with Lott earning 25%.
Democratic Primary Southern District:
Ocean Springs mayor Connie Moran defeated Sugar Stallings for the Democratic nomination for the Southern District Public Service Commissioner seat with 78% of the vote.
Republican Primary Southern District:
Dane Maxwell, the Mayor of Pascagoula, won the GOP nomination for the Southern District Public Service Commissioner seat over Kelvin Schulz, with 68% of the vote.
David McRae soundly defeated Senator Buck Clarke for the Republican nomination for State Treasurer with 61% of the vote, and will be heavily favored in November.
Addie Lee Green was unopposed for the Democratic nomination for State Treasurer.
Attorney General Race
Republican Primary: As the night came to a close it was clear there would be a runoff for Attorney General. At over 45% of the vote, Lynn Fitch had secured herself as one of those individuals. However, Andy Taggart narrowly staved off Mark Baker by less than 2% of the vote and will face Fitch in the August 27 runoff.
Democratic Primary: Jennifer Riley Collins ran unopposed in the Democratic Primary and will be the nominee on the ballot in November.
Secretary of State Race
Republican Primary: Called towards the end of the night, Michael Watson was declared the winner of the race between he and Sam Britton for the Republican nomination for Secretary of State. Watson was formally endorsed by Gov. Bryant when he left the Senate and made the decision to run. He secured over 53% of the votes.
Democratic Primary: Johnny Dupree beat Myra Hodges Hunt by a landslide of 72% of the vote. He will face off with Watson on the ballot in November.
Transportation Commissioner Race
Republican Primary Northern District: No official call had been made, but with John Caldwell holding 34% of the vote and Geoffry Yoste at 25% of the votes, it looks as if this race will head to a runoff at the end of August as well.
Democratic Primary Northern District: Joe Grist ran unopposed and will take the nomination to November’s General Election.
Republican Primary Central District: Butch Lee took the win in central Mississippi over Ricky Pennington. Lee left with 65% of the vote, securing him as the Republican nominee in November.
Democratic Primary Central District: Willie Simmons lead the night, coming 59% of the vote around 11:15 p.m. An official call was made by the Associated Press around that time.
Republican Primary Southern District: Incumbent Tom King held onto his seat with 56% percent of the vote against Tony Smith and Chad Toney. There is no Democratic challenger in this race.
Notable Legislative Races
Two major shakeups in the Mississippi House Leadership involve the defeat of incumbent Speaker Pro Tem Greg Snowden and House Ways & Means Chairman Jeff Smith. Both went down to primary challengers on Tuesday.
Also, Scott Delano who left his House seat to run for the retiring Tommy Gollott’s Senate seat looks to have narrowly won by less than 100 votes.