Tuesday’s election will have impact

Published 12:00 pm Monday, November 2, 2015

When voters go to the polls Tuesday, they will have plenty on their ballot in deciding the future direction of the county and the state.

At least two new supervisors will be elected to the county board; a contentious state senate race, as well as a heated state representative race will be decided, which could impact a power shift in the state legislature.

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All state offices are up for grabs, but one of the most debated issues dealing with the educational future of Mississippi’s children will also be determined by Mississippi’s voters.

Initiative 42 and its countermeasure from the state legislature, Initiative 42A, will decide who will control funding for public education if the state constitution is amended.

Supporters of I-42 state it will force the state legislature to fully fund the Mississippi Adequate Education Program (MAEP), while foes contend it will take the power away from the state legislature and put it in the hands of a Hinds County chancery judge. The state legislatures version, I-42A, is similar to I-42 “without judicial enforcement.”

Supervisor races

Residents living in Districts 1 and 3

will have new representation on the Board of Supervisors. Democrat Kevin Frye, Republican Rickey Babb and Independent candidate Brian Hyneman are each seeking to take the seat of Mike Pickens, who did not seek re-election in District 1.

Robert Blackmon also did not seek re-election in District 3 and will be replaced by either Democrat Dale Timothy Gordon, Republican David Rikard or Independent candidate Zach Carey.

District 5 incumbent Mike Roberts, a Democrat, is being challenged by Republican Johnny Mike Fortner. Incumbents in District 2, Jeff Busby, and District 4, Chad McLarty, do not have opponents.

All of the candidates have admitted during their campaign that the issue of zoning in the county has been a priority on the minds of voters.

Legislative races

Meanwhile, District 12 state representative Brad Mayo, a Republican, is being challenged by Democrat Jay Hughes, while longtime District Nine state senator Gray Tollison, also a Republican, is facing Democratic challenger Cristen Hemins. Both Hughes and Hemins have cited the need to fully fund MAEP as the reason they’re running for office, while Tollison and Mayo counter that education spending by the legislature is a priority and the public education budget has increased over the last several years.

Republican incumbents Gov. Phil Bryant and Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves are also up for re-election and are being challenged by little-known Democrats Robert Gray, a truck driver, and Tim Johnson, respectively.

The office of state auditor, attorney general, state auditor and state treasurer are also on the ballot, as well as public service commissioner and transportation commissioner.