4 special elections will fill Mississippi legislative seats


Emily Wagster Pettus/The Associated Press



JACKSON -- Four nonpartisan special elections are being held to fill vacant seats in the Mississippi Legislature.


Polls are open 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday. If runoffs are needed, they will be Oct. 13.


Candidates in Mississippi special elections run without party labels, but they often tell voters their political affiliation. Winners will serve the rest of a four-year term that ends in January 2024.




Senate District 15


Republican Sen. Gary Jackson of French Camp resigned June 30 because of health concerns. Jackson had served since 2004.


The district is in Choctaw, Montgomery, Oktibbeha and Webster counties.


The candidates are Oktibbeha County Supervisor Bricklee Miller, auto dealership owner Levon Murphy Jr., businessman Bart Williams and educator Joyce Meek Yates.



Senate District 39


Republican Sen. Sally Doty of Brookhaven resigned in mid-July after the governor nominated her to be director of the state Public Utilities Staff, a group that analyzes proposals and provides advice to the three elected members of the Public Service Commission. Doty had served in the Senate since 2012.


The district is in Copiah, Lawrence, Lincoln and Walthall counties.


The candidates are attorney Jason Barrett, nurse practitioner Beth Brown, dental hygienist and former New Hebron Mayor Cindy S. Bryan, law enforcement officer Mike Campbell, pool service owner Josh Davis, Navy veteran Ben Johnson, firefighter Michael Smith, auto dealership general manager Prentiss Smith and Bank of Brookhaven chairman Bill Sones.



House District 37


Republican Rep. Gary Chism of Columbus resigned June 30 after serving since 2000. Chism had a stroke in 2017 and said he had not enjoyed legislative service as much since then.


The district is in Clay, Lowndes and Oktibbeha counties.


The candidates are pool service owner David M. Chism, who is Gary Chism's cousin; motivational speaker Vicky Rose; and former Lowndes County School District Superintendent Lynn Wright.



House District 66


Democratic Rep. Jarvis Dortch of Raymond resigned July 1 to become director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Mississippi. Dortch had served in the House since 2016.


The district is in Hinds County.


The candidates are Gregory L. Divinity, who attended a Baptist theological seminary; former teacher Robert C. 'Bob' Lee Jr.; real estate broker Fabian Nelson; minister and real estate agent Kathryn Orey Perry; Jackson City Councilman De'Keither A. Stamps; and Utica City Councilman Calvin B. Williams.





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