Two primary races end in runoffs

Posted on Jun 6 2018 - 3:03pm by Taylor Vance

Mississippians went to the polls yesterday to cast their votes for U.S. Congressional and Senate primary races. The elections ended with two of the primaries heading to a runoff that will take place in three weeks.

Incumbent U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker easily defeated Richard Boyanton of Diamondhead last night in the Republican primary after receiving more than 80 percent of the vote and will move on to the General Election in November.

In the Democratic primary for U. S. Senate, Mississippi House Minority Leader David Baria and entrepreneur Howard Sherman from Meridian will face off in a runoff on June 26 after no candidate received a majority of the votes. The two candidates defeated state Rep. Omeria Scott from Laurel.

There was no primary race for the special election to fill former U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran’s seat because the special election will be a “jungle primary,” where candidates technically run as non-partisan. That election will take place in the November General Election.

In Mississippi’s 1st Congressional District, Democrat Randy Watkins won his party’s primary unopposed, and he will face Republican incumbent  Trent Kelly, who also ran unopposed.

In Mississippi’s 3rd Congressional District, both major parties held primaries because of the vacant seat left open from U.S. Rep. Gregg Harper retiring.

In the Democratic primary, state Rep. Michael Evans of Preston defeated Michael Aycox, a police investigator, former Navy veteran and the first openly gay candidate in a Mississippi congressional race.

In the highly-contested Republican primary of six candidates, Michael Guest and Whit Hughes will compete in the runoff after no candidate was able to earn a majority of the votes. Guest is a district attorney in Madison and Rankin Counties. Hughes is from Madison County and is a former deputy director of the state economic development agency.

Steven Palazzo overwhelmingly won the Republican primary for the 4th Congressional District against Brian Rose. Palazzo will go on to face Democratic state Rep. Jeramey Anderson in the General Election. Anderson ran unopposed in the Democratic Primary.

In Mississippi’s 2nd Congressional District, Democratic U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson did not have a challenger in the Democratic primary and doesn’t face a Republican challenger in November either.