Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant (R) has called a special election for Mississippi State Senate District 50 on November 5, 2019. The election was deemed necessary after a Harrison County Circuit Court judge vacated the August 6 regular primary’s results in five of the district’s 16 precincts and ordered a new election to be held.
Candidates Scott DeLano and Dixie Newman had both competed in the August Republican primary, and certified results showed Newman received 3,184 votes to DeLano’s 3,183 votes. On August 26, DeLano filed a petition with the Republican County Executive Committee of Harrison County contesting the certified primary results. He cited his concern that not all votes cast in the district were counted. The committee ruled that a special election should be held and requested that the judge call a new election.
Voters in five precincts will return to the polls in November, but voters in the other 11 precincts will not re-vote and their original votes from the August 6 primary will be combined with the results of the November re-vote. Since no other candidates filed for the seat, the person who wins the most votes in the combined primaries will be declared the winner.
Excluding the five precincts headed to a re-vote and counting only the results from the 11 precincts where the results are finalized, Newman received 2,287 votes (51.4%) and DeLano received 2,161 votes (48.6%).
Entering the 2019 election, the Mississippi State Senate has 18 Democrats, 31 Republicans, and three vacancies. All 52 seats are up for election. A majority in the chamber requires 27 seats. Mississippi has a Republican state government trifecta. A state government trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and both state legislative chambers.