The latest in election results around the state

Published 8:13 pm Tuesday, March 8, 2016

From the Associated Press

JACKSON — The Latest on Mississippi presidential primary (all times local):

10:35 p.m.

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Former state senator Walter Michel (mi-SHEL’) has reclaimed his old seat.

Unofficial results show Michel defeated retired businessman Bill Billingsley Tuesday for the District 25 seat covering parts of Hinds and Madison counties.

Michel won narrowly. Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann’s office says some Madison County voters improperly received ballots.

The seat opened after Gov. Phil Bryant appointed Senator Will Longwitz as Madison County Court judge in January.

The candidates ran without party labels in the special election, but both identify as Republicans.

Billingsley lost a Republican primary for the Senate seat to Longwitz in 2015.

A commercial real estate broker, Michel was first elected to the state House in 1991. Michel served in the Senate from 1999 until he stepped down in 2011.

9:03 p.m.

Dennis Quinn has won the Democratic primary in central Mississippi’s 3rd Congressional District.

Quinn, who has been a Magnolia alderman, defeated Nathan Stewart of Rankin County on Tuesday.

Republican Gregg Harper was first elected to the 3rd District seat in 2008. The November ballot will have Harper, Quinn and Reform Party candidate Lajena Sheets.

8:08 p.m.

First-term U.S. Rep. Trent Kelly has won a Republican primary in north Mississippi’s 1st District.

Kelly, who lives in Tupelo, defeated Paul Clover of Olive Branch in Tuesday’s primary.

Kelly is a former district attorney who won a June 2015 special election to fill a vacancy left by the death of Republican Rep. Alan Nunnelee.

Clover, a Navy veteran, was making his first run for public office.

Kelly will face three challengers in November. Jacob Owens is a Democrat, Chase Wilson is a Libertarian and Cathy L. Toole is with the Reform Party.


8:02 p.m.

Incumbent U.S. Rep. Gregg Harper has won the Republican nomination in Mississippi’s third congressional district, beating Jimmy Giles.

Unofficial results show Harper, who was first elected in 2008, with a wide lead over Giles, a beekeeper. Both men are Pearl residents.

In November, Harper will face the winner of a Democratic primary Tuesday between Dennis C. Quinn and Nathan Stewart, as well as Reform Party member Lajena Sheets.

Harper was an attorney in private practice before he was elected to Congress. He serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee and is a critic of federal spending and regulation.

The 3rd District makes a diagonal across the state from Wilkinson and Adams counties on the Louisiana state line, through suburban Jackson and northward to Noxubee County and Starkville.


7:42 p.m.

Donald Trump has won the Republican presidential primary in Mississippi.

Early results of exit polling show Trump was gaining a huge margin among Republicans who wanted a candidate who “tells it like it is,” while Ted Cruz was running strong among very conservative Republican voters and those who wanted a candidate who shares their values.

Exit polls for the Mississippi primaries were conducted by Edison Research for The Associated Press and television networks.

More than half of voters in the Mississippi Republican primary regard Trump as the candidate best able to handle the economy.

Eight in 10 voters in Mississippi say they are very worried about the direction of the national economy and half backed Trump.


7:02 p.m.

Democrat Hillary Clinton has won her party’s presidential primary in Mississippi.

The win continues the former secretary of state’s strong performance in the South, fueled by the heavy support of African-American voters.

Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and two other Republicans were vying for support in Mississippi’s Republican primary.

Early results from exit polls conducted by Edison Research for The Associated Press and television networks show black voters overwhelmingly chose Clinton over Bernie Sanders. She also won a sizeable majority among white voters, who were about a third of overall Democratic primary voters Tuesday.

Before Tuesday, Clinton won primaries in every state that neighbors Mississippi.

The exit poll among 595 Democratic voters leaving 30 randomly selected polling sites has a sampling error of plus or minus 5 percentage points


6 p.m.

Early results from exit polls conducted by Edison Research for The Associated Press and television networks show Republicans voting in Mississippi are overwhelmingly worried about the economy, and Democrats are not much more positive.

Preliminary results show 8 in 10 voters in Tuesday’s GOP primary are very worried about the economy, while only about 1 in 10 say they aren’t too worried or not at all worried.

Democrats are pretty downcast, too, reflecting a state where recovery from recession has been slow and unsteady. Among Democrats, nearly half say they’re very worried, while fewer than 2 in 10 say they’re not too worried or not worried at all.

The exit polls among 595 Democratic voters and 805 Republican voters leaving 30 randomly selected polling sites both have a sampling error of plus or minus 5 percentage points.


4:40 p.m.

There’s just a few hours left for Mississippi voters to cast their ballots in the Republican and Democratic primary races.

In Richland, John Grice said he voted for Republican Donald Trump Tuesday. He called the businessman a “breath of fresh air.” He said he didn’t think Trump was perfect but that a drastic change in leadership was needed.

Laura Cummings, also of Richland, said she was looking for the most conservative candidate and voted for Ted Cruz. But Cummings said she was also looking for a candidate who could beat both Trump and Hillary Clinton.

Cummings said she thought that Clinton would likely be the eventual Democratic nominee.

Mississippi is one of four states where voters go to the polls Tuesday.


2:25 p.m.

The Mississippi Secretary of State’s Office says it appears statewide voting in the presidential and congressional primaries is running smoothly despite a few hiccups in a couple of counties.

Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, in a news release Tuesday, describes turnout, so far, as light.

Hosemann’s office says it has fielded reports by voters in Hinds County that four precincts were reported as unavailable to cast a ballot by 7 a.m., when the polls were scheduled to open. There were electronic poll book issues as well.

In Madison County, five precincts were reported as affected by an erroneous database.

The polls close at 7 p.m.


1:25 p.m.

Jim Owen believes Donald Trump’s detractors are listening to the words but not getting the message.

“He doesn’t say wrong things,” Owen said outside a beach-side Bay St. Louis church where he voted Tuesday in Mississippi’s Republican presidential primary. “He says them incorrectly.”

Owen, 74, knows something about presentation. He moved to the Mississippi Gulf Coast from Branson, Missouri, last year after a long career as a country music singer and songwriter: He wrote the hit “Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man” among others.

His GOP dream ticket would be Trump at the top with his second choice, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz as his running mate. “I’d like to see them run together but I don’t think it will happen because I don’t think they like each other enough.”


11:10 a.m.

Martha Frost, who lives in coastal Mississippi and works as a New Orleans property manager, says she voted for Hillary Clinton in Tuesday’s primary.

The 72-year-old Frost said she believes Clinton has the best chance to win in November.

But she also cited Clinton’s national and international experience makes her a better choice than Bernie Sanders.

And she disagrees with those who question the former Secretary of State’s honesty.

Frost said she believes Clinton is trustworthy and has been attacked many times unnecessarily.


10:30 a.m.

Armando de la Lastra, a Cuba immigrant who became a U.S. citizen in 1995, believes free trade is hurting the U.S. economy.

That’s why he voted for Bernie Sanders Tuesday at his polling place in tiny Pearlington, on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

The registered Democrat admits he is part of the political minority in the staunchly conservative state, but that doesn’t mean there are no progressives, they’re just out outnumbered.

De la Lastra, now 52, said he believes tougher trade policies such as tariffs are needed. He said his income is Social Security, although he would not discuss why is eligible at 52. He said he supports an increase in Social Security benefits and he agrees with Sanders about the need for an increase in the minimum


4:10 a.m.

Mississippi holds its presidential and congressional primaries Tuesday, and the state will award 40 Republican and 36 Democratic delegates.

Polls are open until 7 p.m., and voters must have a driver’s license or another form of government-issued photo identification to vote.

Republicans Donald Trump and Ted Cruz campaigned in Mississippi on Monday, and John Kasich was in the state last week. Marco Rubio has not personally campaigned in the state, but like other candidates he is promoting local endorsements.

Democrats Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders concentrated on Michigan, which also has primaries Tuesday. Former President Bill Clinton campaigned for his wife last week in Jackson.