Mississippi is holding state executive and legislative primary elections Tuesday. Of the eleven state executive offices on the ballot this year, seven feature a contested Republican primary and four feature a contested Democratic primary.
Gov. Phil Bryant (R) is term-limited, leaving his seat open for the first time since 2011. Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Bill Waller Jr., and state Rep. Robert Foster are seeking the Republican nomination to succeed Bryant. On the Democratic side, eight candidates including Attorney General Jim Hood and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith are running. Mississippi has elected a Republican governor in every election since 2003.
Voters in both primaries will also nominate a candidate for secretary of state, responsible for management and oversight of Mississippi’s elections. In the Democratic primary, Maryra Hunt faces former Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree, while the Republican contest features Sen. Michael Watson and Public Service Commissioner Sam Britton.
Republican voters will nominate candidates in the contested primaries for lieutenant governor and attorney general. In the lieutenant gubernatorial primary, Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann and Shane Quick are running. Meanwhile, state Rep. Mark Baker, state Treasurer Lynn Fitch, and attorney Andy Taggart, a former chief of staff to Gov. Kirk Fordice (R), are running for the Republican nomination for attorney general. No Republican has served as attorney general of Mississippi since 1878.
The only downballot statewide race with a contested primary is the Republican primary to succeed Lynn Fitch as treasurer. Former state Sen. Eugene Clark and attorney and businessman David McRae are running in that election.
Candidates for the Central and Southern Public Service Commission districts will also be selected. Those offices are responsible for management and oversight of utilities in Mississippi. In the Central district, four candidates are seeking the Democratic nomination and two are seeking the Republican nomination to succeed Cecil Brown (D). In the Southern district, two Democrats and two Republicans are running for the seat currently held by secretary of state candidate Sam Britton (R).
In order to win their party’s nomination, candidates must receive a majority of all votes cast. If no candidate wins a majority of votes, the top two finishers will advance to an August 27 runoff. The winners will advance to the November 5 general election.