Two candidates set in special Senate election

By Bobby Harrison/NEMS Daily Journal

JACKSON – The daughter of the deceased incumbent and a political novice will be the only candidates on the ballot for the special election to fill the Senate District 16 post left vacant by the death last month of incumbent Bennie Turner, D-West Point.
The state Board of Elections on Tuesday approved Angela Turner Lairy and Kenny Fowler, both of West Point, for the special election Jan. 15.
Lairy is an attorney, who was in practice with her father, who was first elected to the Senate post in 1992.
Fowler is on the West Point Planning Commission, but has never sought an elected post. He is a retired business owner.
District 16 consists of all of Clay and portions of Oktibbeha, Lowndes, and Noxubee counties.
The winner of the Jan. 15 election will not miss much of the 2013 session, which starts Jan. 8.
Special elections are nonpartisan, but Fowler said if elected he would probably seek re-election as a Democrat, and Turner, like her father, would be a Democrat.
Turner’s father was a popular senator in the district. After his election in 1992, he faced opposition only once – in the 1995 general election where he captured more than 70 percent of the vote.
A special election will be Feb. 5 for the Senate District 28 post left vacant by the death last week of incumbent Alice Harden, D-Jackson. Gov. Phil Bryant announced the date Tuesday.
If no candidate receives a majority of the vote for the District 28 post, a runoff will be held on Feb. 28.
A special election already is scheduled in Rankin County for House District 59 left vacant by the resignation of Republican Kevin McGee because of ethical issues. That election will be Jan. 8.
bobby.harrison@journalinc.com