The seat in question, Senate District 10, was redrawn by the Legislature in 2012 for a Republican to win as leaders banked on former Sen. Steve Hale to switch parties. Hale chose not to switch, leaving the Republicans without a candidate in 2015. Stone soundly defeated Hale in the Democratic primary and ran unopposed in the general election.
Gipson, a Holly Springs attorney and former alderwoman, has received no financial or campaign support from the state Democratic Party, according to party officials. She did not file a pre-runoff campaign finance report with the Secretary of State’s Office and could not be reached for comment Monday.
“We realized it (a Republican flip) was a possibility when the seat became vacant,” said Bobby Moak, chairman of the Mississippi Democratic Party. “There’s no safe Democratic seat in Mississippi, especially during a special election. Those that would think otherwise don’t know the political landscape in this state.”
Whaley, a seventh generation Mississippian who runs the family farm and co-owns a Napa Auto Parts store with his father, said agriculture and education are the two issues he would focus on most under the Capitol dome in Jackson.