While the major statewide races took most of the media attention this election cycle, all House and Senate seats were up as well. We now have an understanding of the strength of the Republican majority in 2020.
“Maintaining our super majority was our goal this year and we did just that. I am looking forward to this new term and what we will be able to accomplish for our state,” said Speaker of the House Philip Gunn.
Longtime Representative Steve Holland (I), representing District 16 in North Mississippi will not be returning to the House. He lost in the General Election to challenger Rickey Thompson (D). HD 16 encompasses parts of Lee and Monroe Counties.
After all precincts reported, it would show that Holland had around 2,505 votes to Thompson’s 2,689.
In response to the results, Holland told the Daily Journal, “I’m at peace. “I’ve had a long successful career in the legislature. I’ve got a real good day job.”
Holland has served in the House since 1984, and recently dropped the Democratic Party affiliation and ran as an Independent. Thompson previously served as a Justice Court Judge in Lee County and was removed from office by the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance.
Over in District 64, representing Madison and Hinds Counties, Republican Representative Bill Denny faced Democrat Shanda M. Yates. Denny has served in the House since 1988. He lost his seat last night to Shanda Yates, a Democratic freshman candidate who won the election by about one percentage point.
Most incumbents fared well in the election. Indépendent Representative Angela Cockerham was able to hold onto her seat after being challenged by Democrat Aisha Sanders. Cockerham has been in the House since 2005 when she won a special election for District 96. Cockerham took 58% of the vote over Sanders’ 42%.
Cockerham was originally elected as a Democrat and filed to switch to the independent party in 2019. Her district serves Adams, Amite, Pike and Wilkinson Counties.
In Senate District 50, which spent much time in court over the summer, Republican Scott Delano (former House member) was declared the winner over Dixie Newman after some contested split precincts were revoted.
The legitimacy of the votes were challenged after Newman was declared the Republican nominee in a non democratically contested race for the Primary. An alleged “thumb drive” of votes appeared before Newman was named the winner which created cause for question.
The court ruled that the district would be divided into five precincts for the General Election. According to WLOX, Delano secured the win by a small margin of 201 votes.
Another hotly contested district race was that of Senate District 22. The lines for SD 22 were ordered to be redraws by the court. In the Legislative Session of 2019, lawmakers moved forward to redraw the lines between SD 22 and SD 13 to be a more accurate representation of the voting public.
In this years election Republican Hayes Dent and Democrat Joseph Thompson battled it out for the seat one held by Senator Buck Clarke. Thompson took the win with 51% of the vote. But that result may be revisited as a result of the lawsuit pending in the 5th Circuit.
Finally, in SD 37, Republican Melanie Sojourner will reclaim the position that she lost four years ago to Democrat Bob Dearing. Sojourner beat William Godfrey and flipped one of three seats from Democrat to Republican hands.