fbpx
Connect with us

Mississippi Today

Who’s running for Mississippi statewide offices in 2023

Published

on

Who's running for Mississippi statewide offices in 2023

Democratic candidates have filed paperwork to Republican incumbents for all eight statewide offices.

The deadline to qualify to for office in the November 2023 elections was Feb. 1. Democrats, who have suffered an ongoing string of elections losses in Mississippi, have candidates to challenge all eight Republican statewide office incumbents.

But whether the Democratic candidates, who are mostly unknown statewide, can garner the voter and financial resources needed to run competitive campaigns remains to be seen.

Advertisement

Northern District Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley of Nettleton announced last month that he would challenge incumbent Gov. Tate Reeves. Pundits believe Presley is the favorite to win the Democratic primary in August and advance to the November general election. But Presley will first have to defeat Democratic primary challengers Bob Hickingbottom and Gregory Wash, both of .

Reeves is being challenged in the Republican primary by John Witcher and David Grady Hardigree. Independent Gray Gwendolyn also will be on the November general election ballot for governor.

Sen. Chris McDaniel of Ellisville already has announced he is challenging incumbent Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann in the Republican primary. Also entering the primary will be Tiffany Longino and Shane Quick.

D. Ryan Grover of Hattiesburg has qualified to run for lieutenant governor as a Democrat.

Advertisement

For , Jackson attorney Greta Martin will challenge Republican incumbent Lynn Fitch.

In other races:

  • Secretary of state: Democrat Shuwaski Young will challenge Republican incumbent Michael Watson.
  • Treasurer: Democrat Addie Green will challenge Republican incumbent David McRae.
  • Auditor: Democrat Larry Bradford will challenge Republican incumbent Shad White.
  • Insurance commissioner: Democrat Bruce Burton and Republican Mitch Young are both vying against Republican incumbent Mike Chaney.
  • Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce: Four Democrats — Terry Rogers ll, Bradford Hill, Robert Briggs and Bethany Hill — will compete for the right to face Republican incumbent Andy Gipson in the November general election.

Democrat De'Keither Stamps will square off in the second consecutive election with Republican incumbent Brent Bailey for the Central District Public Service Commission post. Bailey defeated Stamps, now a state House member, in 2019 in a closely contested election.

Three but no Democrats are running to replace Presley for the Northern District Public Service Commissioner: Mandy Ganasekara, Tanner Newman and Chris Brown.

Incumbent Southern District Public Service Commissioner Dane Maxwell will face Nelson Carr in the Republican primary.

Advertisement

For the open seat of Southern District Transportation commissioner, Republican state Rep. Charlies Busby will face independent Steven Brian Griffin in November.

And Democratic Central District Commissioner Willie Simmons will face Republican Rickey Pennington Jr.

This article first appeared on Mississippi Today and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.

Mississippi Today

Bill to shutter most of Parchman passes first committee hurdle

Published

on

After facing initial pushback, a proposal to close most of the Mississippi Penitentiary at Parchman passed its first hurdle in the Senate Corrections Committee Friday morning.

Senate Bill 2353 by Committee chair Juan Barnett, D-Heidelberg, proposes shutting down most operations at the state's oldest and most infamous prison by sending people, staff and programs to other facilities.

The vote days after the U.S. Department of Justice released a report slamming unconstitutional conditions at three Mississippi prisons. Parchman was not the focus of the , but Barnett said two years after the DOJ's initial report about Parchman, conditions there have not improved much.

“I know this bill is not the fix-all but we have to start somewhere,” he said. “… Even yesterday was too late and tomorrow will definitely be too late.”

A key point of the phase down plan is for the state to gain operation of the Tallahatchie Correctional Facility, which is located less than 10 miles away in Tutwiler and by CoreCivic.

Advertisement

Earlier this , committee members asked for more information about how much it would cost for the state to gain operation of the Tutwiler prison and how that compares to the cost to repair Parchman.

On Friday, Barnett said there is not a contract or memorandum of understanding between the Department of Corrections and CoreCivic in writing yet, but the prison prison company gave an estimate of $14 million a year to lease Tallahatchie Correctional, including the cost of maintenance and upkeep of the facility.

Sen. Angela Burks Hill, R-, said problems with violence and gang control are present beyond Parchman and failure to address staffing won't get the prisons under control.

“Moving the inmates seven miles up the road is not going to solve our problem,” she said before the committee approved the bill.

Advertisement

Barnett agreed, but added that the reason why the prisons are that way is because money hasn't been invested to make sure they are secure.

He noted that during the riots at the end of 2019 and early 2020, about 1,000 inmates were transferred from Parchman to Tallahatchie Correctional, and there were no problems.

A committee substitute version of SB 2353 passed, including a name change for Parchman. In the meeting, Barnett said he consulted with members of the Delta delegation about renaming the prison because of its current and historical negative association.

As of Friday morning, a copy of the committee substitute was not available online.

Advertisement

The bill now heads to the Senate Appropriations Committee, which is to meet Tuesday. Appropriations Chair Briggs Hopson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

After reporting on prison conditions in 2019 by the Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting and ProPublica, the U.S. Department of Justice, at the urging of U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., and others, began an investigation into four Mississippi prisons, starting with Parchman. It concluded in April 2022 that those imprisoned at Parchman were being subjected to violence, inadequate medical care and lack of suicide prevention.

In a 60-page report released this week, the Justice Department found the state is also violating the constitutional rights of those held in the other three prisons: the at Parchman, the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility, the Correctional Institution and Wilkinson County Correctional Facility.

This article first appeared on Mississippi Today and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Mississippi Today

Trump endorses Roger Wicker for Senate reelection 

Published

on

Former Republican President Donald Trump endorsed U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker's bid for reelection on Thursday, likely giving the incumbent senator a major boost weeks before Mississippi's party primaries. 

“Senator Roger Wicker is a fantastic Senator for the Great State of Mississippi,” Trump wrote on social media. “As the Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Roger is working hard to Strengthen our Military, Defend our Country, and Support our Veterans.”

Wicker, a 72-year-old , has represented the Magnolia State in the U.S. Senate since 2007. Before the Senate, he served several terms in the U.S. House and in the Mississippi .

He is currently the top Republican serving on the Senate Armed Services Committee, which has jurisdiction over matters involving the U.S. military. If the GOP gains a majority in the Senate this year, Wicker could be the first Mississippian to that committee since former U.S. Sen. John .

“We are proud to have 's support for our campaign and re-election efforts,” Wicker campaign Jake Monssen said in a statement. “ across Mississippi are to take back the Senate and the White House in 2024 and put an end to the radical Biden-Harris agenda.”

Advertisement

Wicker will compete against state Rep. Dan Eubanks of DeSoto County and retired U.S. Marine Corps Colonel Ghannon Burton in the Republican primary on March 12. attorney Ty Pinkins is the only candidate who qualified in the Democratic primary. 

The winner of the Republican primary will compete against Pinkins on November 5.

This article first appeared on Mississippi Today and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.

Did you miss our previous article…
https://www.biloxinewsevents.com/?p=336630

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Mississippi Today

Thanks to the Super Six, there’s now a shiny, gold ball in Blue Mountain

Published

on

Blue Mountain coach Regina Chills (left) and Keyauna Foote hoist the Class 1A State Championship trophy. Credit: Keith Warren/MHSAA

For most of this made-for-Hollywood season, the remarkable Blue Mountain girls basketball team has been known as the Super Six. That's because for most of the season there were only six players, three with the last name of Foote.

Rick Cleveland

That explains the Six. The Super? The Blue Mountain Cougars brought a 28-1 record into Thursday night's Class 1A State Championship at Mississippi Coliseum, known as the Big House throughout Mississippi high school basketball. Rarely, if ever, has there been a smaller team in the Big House.

The opponent this night was 26-6 Lumberton, and nothing came easy for Blue Mountain. Nothing ever has for the Cougars, who represent the fourth smallest public school in Mississippi. The three smaller: The Mississippi School for the Deaf, the Mississippi School for the Blind and Piney Woods.

But basketball is big in small schools across northeast Mississippi's Hill Country, and that's especially true in Blue Mountain where there aren't enough to field a football team. The school also recently has dropped and softball due to the lack of players.

Keyauna Foote (right) with her proud daddy, Dominique Foote.

“We're a little school in a little bitty town,” said Dominique Foote, a former Blue Mountain Cougar and proud father of Keyauna Foote, the team's star player and Miss Basketball for Class 1A.

About 800 folks in Blue Mountain. There are 66 – boys and girls, combined – in grades 7 through 12. The Cougars play their home on a gym floor that is roughly about three-quarters the size of a regulation basketball court. Put it this way: A player with big feet can't shoot a three-pointer from the corner because the three-point line extends just six inches short of out of bounds.

And even that's not all that's small about the Tippah County town about 34 miles northwest of about six miles southwest of Ripley, the county seat.

Advertisement

“Nope, we don't have any traffic lights in Blue Mountain,” said Regina Chills, the team's coach.

But the town without a traffic light now has one gleaming, gold state championship trophy. Despite many scary moments – and a dogged effort from Lumberton – Blue Mountain prevailed 38-36 in a defensive struggle that turned into an offensive barn-burner in the fourth quarter.

As usual, only the original Super Six played for Blue Mountain, while two more youngsters, promoted from the junior high team late in the season, watched and cheered from the bench. The three Footes, Keyauna and her first cousins A'rare and Beiga, made play after play after play, especially in the fourth quarter.

Keyauna scored 14 points, grabbed seven rounds, blocked two shots and passed out two assists. A'rare scored 11 points and made two steals. Beiga scored seven points and stole the ball three times. So, the three Footes provided 32 of the team's 39 points.

Advertisement
The bench is a lonely place for the Blue Mountain girls basketball team. Credit: Keith Warren/MHSAA

There were some tense and anxious moments, like when Beiga Foote went down hard after a collision midway through the first quarter and had to the . The Super Six was suddenly down to five. Thankfully, Beiga returned after a short rest to recuperate. Another starter and key player, Ahkeeah Lipsey, drew her fourth foul in the last minute of the third quarter and sat for much of the fourth. But the Cougars kept hustling, kept answering every Lumberton – and there were plenty of those.

“We've done that all season,” Coach Chills said afterward. “Plus this was a championship game. No matter what happens, you have to stay in the game and keep playing.”

Mission accomplished. Baskets were cherished like rare gems through the first three quarters. Blue Mountain led 21-19 heading into the fourth quarter when both teams started scoring almost at will. Keyauna Foote scored three straight baskets to give the Cougars a five-point lead midway through, but Lumberton fired back and kept firing back until Keyauna scored what proved to be the winning basket on an in-bounds play with 20 seconds left.

As is always the case in the Big House this time of the year, a wild celebration ensued. If 866 folks live in Blue Mountain, nearly all were present and dancing in the stands.

Hard to say what next for Blue Mountain basketball. Four of the Super Six are seniors and won't be around next year. This year's junior high team was winless.

Advertisement

“What are you going to do?” someone asked Coach Childs.

She held up her hands as if to dismiss the question. “Right now,” she said, “I'm going to go celebrate.”

No doubt, all of Blue Mountain, bursting with pride, will celebrate with her.

This article first appeared on Mississippi Today and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.

Did you miss our previous article…
https://www.biloxinewsevents.com/?p=336604

Advertisement
Continue Reading

News from the South

Trending