Typically this past year in Mississippi’s election cycle would be focused on municipal elections across the state, and the primaries and general elections for mayor and aldermen/councilmen were certainly heated. But the Mississippi legislature faced an unusual number of special elections this year with 7 new House members and 2 new Senate members chosen. This followed special elections for a senate and house seat in November of 2012.
Special elections have produced 15 percent new members of the state legislature since the 2011 regular election cycle. While the special elections were nonpartisan, ultimately no seats changed partisan hands; Democrats replaced Democrats and Republicans replaced Republicans.
Two candidates replaced their deceased fathers in the legislature. One new member became the youngest member of the House of Representatives; until a subsequent special election produced an even younger member.
In January, Brent Powell (R-Brandon) won in House 59 over three opponents that went into a run-off to fill the seat of Representative Kevin McGee who resigned following ethics violations involving state contracts with his family business. Powell’s father, Billy Powell, is a former Mississippi Republican Party Chairman. Angela Turner (D-Columbus) defeated one challenger to win the Senate 16 seat vacated by her father Senator Bennie Turner who passed away in November 2012 after serving the Senate for two decades.