Voters head to the polls for party primaries

Voters head to the polls for party primaries


Absentee voting is generally a strong indication of overall voter turnout in elections, which means Tuesday’s primary elections may result in subpar participation, observers say. 

Circuit Clerk Anita Wray said as of Wednesday, only 619 absentee ballots had been cast, with 416 in the Republican Primary and 203 in the Democrat Primary. 

For comparison, Wray said four years ago there were 886 Republican absentee ballots and 331 Democrat absentee ballots. 

Four years ago in the general election, Madison County only had 54 percent voter turnout with 1,420 absentee ballots.

Wray said that as of now all signs point to low turnout on Tuesday when voters head to the polls across the state for party primaries for county and state races.

Voters will cast votes in either the Democrat Party or Republican Party primary. 

There is only one countywide race being decided on Tuesday — the successor to Kay Pace as the next Madison County Tax Collector. 

Former County Administrator and Comptroller Shelton Vance is facing C.J. Garavelli, longtime Tax Assessor employee, in the Republican Primary. There is no Democrat candidate so the winner Tuesday will take office in January. 

The District 1 Supervisor race could also be decided on Tuesday or it could be set for a runoff as three Republicans battle it out to replace Sheila Jones, who opted not to seek a third term. 

Casey Brannon, Timothy N. Jenkins and Arlette Hulsey Thompson are all on the ballot. There is no Democrat challenger. 

The District 3 and District 4 Constable races will also be decided in the Republican Primary on Tuesday. 

In District 3, K. Michael Bailey and Richard “Taco” Johnson face off. In District 4, incumbent Brad D. Harbour is being challenged by Jonathan J. Tillman Sr. 

The District 2 Justice Court Judge race will be decided in the Democrat primary with incumbent Martina B. Griffin being challenged by Walter “W.L.” Johnson Jr. 

A number of incumbents do not have any primary or general election opponents this cycle, whereas a number of county races will be settled in the November general election. 

District Attorney John K. “Bubba” Bramlett, Sheriff Randy Tucker, Chancery Clerk Ronny Lott, Tax Assessor Norman A. Cannady Jr., Coroner Alex Breeland, County Attorney Pamela Hancock, Justice Court Judge Marsha Weems Stacey, Justice Court Judge  Lloyd Spivey III, Justice Court Judge  Bruce McKinley, County Surveyor Roy Lamar Bullock, District 1 Constable Michael “Mike” Brown, District 2 Supervisor Trey Baxter and District 3 Supervisor Gerald Steen are all running unopposed this year. 

Former District 4 Supervisor David Bishop will take on incumbent Karl Banks in November. Incumbent District 5 Supervisor Paul Griffin is being challenged again by Charles “Chip” Matthews. 

Republican Circuit Clerk Anita Wray is being challenged by Democrat Fannie Hargon Sanders. Incumbent District 2 Constable Johnny Sims is being challenged by Republican Tchiakousky Williams. 

There are a number of state legislative races on the ballots this cycle, with only a handful contested. The contested primary races include:

In the District 58 House race, three candidates are competing for the seat being opened up by the retirement of Joel Bomgar. Bob Anderson, Jonathan K. Berry and Jonathan McMillan are all running in the Republican Primary. 

In the District 27 House race, Democrats Kenji L. Holloway and James Edward Woods Jr. face off. 

In the District 72 race, Justis Gibbs, Synarus Green, Rukia Lumumba and Ailean Stingley all face off in the Democrat Primary. 

On the state side, Gov. Tate Reeves faces David Grady Hardigree in the Republican primary. Brandon Presley is running unopposed in the Democrat primary. 

Incumbent Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann is facing off against State Sen. Chris McDaniel and Tiffany Longino in the Republican primary and the winner will face off against Democrat D. Ryan Grover in November. 

Sec. of State Michael Watson is running unopposed in the Republican primary and will face off against Democrat Shuwaski A. Young in November. Attorney General Lynn Fitch is running unopposed in the Republican primary and will face off against Democrat Greta Kemp Martin in November. 

State Treasurer David McRae is running unopposed in the Republican primary and will face Democrat Addie L. Green in November.

Agriculture Commissioner Andy Gipson is running unopposed in the Republican primary and will face the winner of Robert Bradford Sr., Bethany Hill and Terry Rogers II in the Democrat primary.

Republican Mike Chaney is opposed by Mitch Young in the primary for Insurance Commissioner. The winner will face Democrat Bruce Burton in November. 

State Auditor Shad White is running unopposed in the Republican primary and will face Democrat Larry Bradford in November. 

Central District Public Service Commissioner Brent Bailey is running unopposed in the Republican primary and will face Democrat DeKeither A. Stamps in November. 

Republican Ricky Pennington Jr. will face off against incumbent Democrat Willie Simmons for Central Mississippi Transportation Commissioner in November. 

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