By NEMS Daily Journal
The weeding-out process begins today in political races from governor to constable across Mississippi.
State and county campaigns, which kicked into full throttle after last November’s federal elections but in many cases had been much longer in the making, finally go to the voters.
It’s the first round of three in this year’s election, with voters in the Democratic and Republican primaries choosing the party nominees for the Nov. 8 general election. Any race today in which no candidate receives a majority vote will be decided in an Aug. 23 runoff between the top two vote-getters.
The Democratic primary includes only one competitive statewide race, a contest for the gubernatorial nomination between the two leading contenders, Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree and Clarksdale attorney-businessman Bill Luckett.
The Republican contest for governor features Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant, the acknowledged frontrunner, and four runoff hopefuls – Gulf Coast businessmen Dave Dennis and Ron Williams, Pearl River County supervisor and businessman Hudson Holliday and James Broadwater of Byram.
The lieutenant governor’s campaign has in some ways overshadowed the governor’s race because the election of Bryant’s successor will, for all practical purposes, be decided Tuesday. The winner of the primary between state Treasurer Tate Reeves and Senate President Pro Tem Billy Hewes will face no Democratic opposition in the fall.
In addition, there are Republican primaries for treasurer, secretary of state, commissioner of agriculture and commerce and northern district public service commissioner. Most Northeast Mississippi counties have competitive races for sheriff, supervisor and other county offices in either the Democratic or Republican primary, as well as some contests for the state Legislature.
– Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
– State, district, county and legislative offices are on the ballot.
– Voters must decide between the Democratic and Republican primaries; there’s no crossover voting from one race to another.
– Runoffs between the top two finishers in races where no one receives a majority will be Aug. 23.