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Reeves sets November elections to fill 2 Senate vacancies

July 14, 2021 GMT

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves has set special elections in November to fill two empty seats in the Mississippi Senate.

Democratic Sens. Sampson Jackson of Preston and Tammy Witherspoon of Magnolia stepped down June 30, the last day of the state budget year. Witherspoon was inaugurated the next day as mayor of her hometown.

Reeves spokeswoman Bailey Martin said Wednesday that the governor set the special elections for Nov. 2 — the same day as elections to fill some school board seats and some vacancies in county offices. If runoffs are needed, they will be Nov. 23.

Candidates in Mississippi special elections run without party labels, and the elections to replace Jackson and Witherspoon will not change the balance of power. Republicans hold a majority in the 52-member Senate.

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Jackson had been in the Senate since 1992 and was chairman of the Forestry Committee this term. He represented District 32, which includes Kemper, Lauderdale, Noxubee and Winston counties.

Witherspoon had been in the Senate since 2016. This term, she was chairwoman of the Enrolled Bills Committee and vice chairwoman of the Housing Committee. She represented District 38, which includes Adams, Amite, Pike, Walthall and Wilkinson counties.

Legislators are not at the Capitol now, and their regular session begins in January.