Mississippi holding primary runoffs for US Senate and House
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi is holding party primary runoffs for two federal offices.
Polls are open 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday, and voters are required to show photo identification.
Candidates have expressed concerns that turnout will be much lower than it was during the first round of voting on June 5.
DEMOCRATIC RUNOFF, U.S. SENATE
David Baria of Bay St. Louis and Howard Sherman of Meridian compete in the Democratic runoff for a U.S. Senate seat that has been held since 2007 by Republican Roger Wicker, who is seeking re-election.
Baria, 55, is an attorney now serving his third term in the Mississippi Legislature. His first term was in the state Senate; the other two have been in the state House. He is currently the Democratic leader in the Republican-majority Mississippi House. Baria has been endorsed in the runoff by the Mississippi Legislative Black Caucus.
Sherman, 63, is a venture capitalist who is married to TV and movie actress Sela Ward. Sherman was born in California and lived most of his life there, and records show he was registered to vote as a Republican in California. He and Ward live near her hometown of Meridian, Mississippi. Sherman has said in campaign appearances that he believes Democrats were anti-business in California are not that way in Mississippi.
Six candidates ran in the June 5 primary. The third-place candidate, state Rep. Omeria Scott of Laurel, has endorsed Sherman.
In the first round of voting, Sherman received about 32 percent and Baria received about 31 percent.
The winner of the Democratic runoff will advance to the Nov. 6 general election to face Wicker, who easily won the Republican primary. Also on the general election ballot for this Senate race are the Reform Party’s Shawn O’Hara of Hattiesburg and Libertarian Danny Bedwell of Columbus.
REPUBLICAN RUNOFF, U.S. HOUSE, 3RD DISTRICT
Michael Guest and Whit Hughes compete in a Republican runoff in central Mississippi’s heavily Republican 3rd Congressional District. The seat has been held for the past decade by Republican Gregg Harper, who didn’t seek re-election this year.
Six candidates ran in the June 5 Republican primary. Guest received about 45 percent of the vote, and Hughes received about 22 percent. Guest was especially strong in his home of Rankin County.
Guest, 48, lives in Brandon and is district attorney for Madison and Rankin counties, which are suburbs of the capital city of Jackson.
Hughes, 43, lives in the city of Madison. He is a former deputy director of the state economic development agency and has worked for a hospital foundation.
Madison and Rankin counties make up the biggest population base for district, which encompasses all or part of 24 counties. The district makes a diagonal from the Mississippi River at Natchez, northeastward into the Jackson metro area and further up into Starkville.
The winner of the Republican runoff will advance to the general election to face two candidates who have raised little money so far: Democratic state Rep. Michael Ted Evans of Preston and Reform Party candidate Michael Holland of Hattiesburg.