Candidates for 2019 state, local races finalized

Published 11:35 am Monday, March 4, 2019

The March 1 deadline has passed and the candidates for the 2019 election cycle are set for statewide and local races.

This year, Mississippi will vote for their next Governor and Lieutenant Governor. There are 13 candidates vying for to replace out-going Governor Phil Bryant this fall. On the Republican side there are three candidates, highlighted by current Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves. A Mississippi Supreme Court justice is also trying his hand at running for Governor with Chief Justice William ‘Bill’ Waller, Jr. The final republican candidate is freshman state representative Robert Foster. Foster is from the Hernando area.

It is a strong pool of Democratic candidates this year headlined by current attorney general Jim Hood. Hood, the only Democrat holding a state office, has been the state’s attorney general since 2003. William Bond Compton, Jr, Michael Brown, Robert J. Ray, Hinds County district attorney Robert Shuler Smith, Gregory Walsh, Phillip West, Velesha Williams and Albert Wilson are the other Democratic candidates.

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David Singletary is the lone Independent candidate seeking the Governor’s office.

The race for the next Leiutenant Governor will come down to two people. Current secretary of state Delbert Hosemann and state representative Jay Hughes will face off in November’s general election. Hosemann is running as a Republican and Hughes as a Democrat.

Last month Oxford’s Geoffrey Yoste announced his candidacy for commissioner of the Mississippi Department of Transportation’s (MDOT) northern district. Yoste will have to get past four other Republican candidates in the August primary, including Trey Bowman, John Caldwell, E.A. Hathcock and Jeremy A. Martin. Joey Grist is the lone Democrat seeking the office.

The Lafayette County races are also set with last Friday’s deadline.

The most contested race will be for the District 2 supervisor with eight candidates seeking the office Jeff Busby will be vacating at the end of his term. There are six Democrat candidates (Ed Neilson, Ava Halon Bonds Gossett, Leslie Spence, Max Hill, Darryl L. Booker and Joshua McGlawn) and two running as Republicans (Chad Mills and Larry Gillespie).

District 3 incumbent David Rikard will also have his hands full this campaign season with six other opponents running for the seat. Along with Rikard, Davii Jo Chinault and Soctt Michael are running as Republicans. Cynthia Parham, Dale Timothy Gordon and Alonzo Hilliard are running as Democrats with Lakeisha Borum running as an Independent.

The District 4 race has five candidates, including incumbent Chad McLarty. Scott Allen, Duncan Grey and Boyd A. Dorris are running along with McLarty as Democrats while Derek Mooney and Scott Allen are running as Republicans.

In the District 5 race, incumbent Mike Roberts will run against either Republican candidate Johnny Mike Fortner or Gary C. ‘Bud’ Atkinson, Jr. The District 1 race is between Republicans Antony Cox, Harold Brummett, Adam Clay and Democrat candidate Brent Larson.

The Lafayette County Sheriff’s race will be another hotly contested race. Former Oxford Police chief Joey East is running for the seat his father occupied since 1972 but will face competition from fellow democratic candidate Raymond Westley Sides and Independent candidate Jeff South.

In the Justice Court races there is only one candidate running for the Southern seat. Incumbent Johnny Wayne McLarty is currently running unopposed, as is Mickey Avent who is running for re-election for the Central judge seat. The Northern judge seat has incumbent Carolyn Pettis Bell running along with Republican candidates Andy Turner Arant, Jr. and Emily Smathers Ratliff.

The Constable races are all but a formality with all three incumbents running unopposed in their respective races. For the Northern District Greg Pettis is seeking re-election, the Central District has Jody Mayfield running once more and the Southern District has Jack E. Theobald running again.

Other races include Chancery Clerk where incumbent Sherry Wall is running unopposed as is incumbent county coroner O.E. ‘Rocky’ Kennedy. The aforementioned Busby is running for the seat his mother once held, against fellow Democrat Karen Curtis Borden, in the Circuit Clerk race and the Tax Collector/Assessor race is between incumbent Sylvia Baker and Janice Downs Stanford. Both are running as Democrats.

Primaries will be held on Aug. 6 and the general election will take place on Nov. 5.