Results from Mississippi’s battleground House primaries

Mississippi voters decided 44 contested state House primaries on Aug. 8, a decade-low for the chamber, down one from the previous low in 2019.

Ballotpedia identified six battleground primaries in the chamber: one between Democrats and five between Republicans.

In Mississippi, a candidate wins a primary outright if they receive a majority vote. Otherwise, the top-two vote-getters advance to a runoff. This year, primary runoffs are scheduled for Aug. 29.

Battleground Democratic primaries:

  • House District 72: Justis Gibbs and Rukia Lumumba advanced to a runoff with 41% and 31% of the vote, respectively, defeating Jackson Chief Administrative Officer Synarus Green and healthcare professional Ailean Stingley. Gibbs is the son of outgoing Rep. Deborah Gibbs (D), and Lumumba is the sister of Jackson Mayor Chokwe Lumumba (D).

Battleground Republican primaries:

  • House District 20: Rodney Hall defeated Charlie Hoots, 55% to 45%. Hall will be uncontested in November. When he assumes office next year, he will be the first Black Republican elected to the Mississippi House since Reconstruction.
  • House District 23: Andrew Stepp defeated incumbent Rep. Perry Van Bailey, 53% to 47%. This was a rematch of a special election earlier this year, which Van Bailey won by a margin of seven votes.
  • House District 28: Doc Harris defeated John Williams, 67% to 33%. Harris received endorsements from the Mississippi Realtors Association and the Home Builders Association of Mississippi. Williams received endorsements from the Mississippi Freedom Caucus and the Mississippi Parents for Vaccine Rights.

As of Aug. 10, two battleground Republican primaries remain uncalled as the final votes will determine whether they advance to runoffs later this month:

  • House District 7: Kimberly Remak leads with 50.05% of the vote, enough to avoid a runoff. James Goodkind follows with 45%, and Progeorlan Walker has 5%. Remak received an endorsement from the Mississippi Realtors Association, and Goodkind received one from the Mississippi Freedom Caucus.
  • House District 115: Zach Grady leads with 47% of the vote, followed by Felix Gines with 38%, and Phil Harding with 16%. Grady also received endorsements from the Mississippi Association of Realtors. Gines, who switched parties to become a Republican in 2022, received an endorsement from the Mississippi Public Education PAC. Harding received an endorsement from the Mississippi Freedom Caucus.

In addition to Van Bailey, three other incumbents lost in House primaries so far: Brady Williamson (R), Doug McLeod (R), and Rufus Straughter (D). 

Rep. Dale Goodin (R) advanced to a runoff, and Rep. Nick Bain’s (R) primary remains uncalled.

On average, six incumbents have lost in primaries or primary runoffs in the Mississippi House each cycle over the past decade.