Republican sweep in Mississippi, again

Print More

Rogelio V. Solis, AP

A voter takes advantage of the lull in voting to cast her ballot at Chastain Middle School in Jackson.

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump carried deep red Mississippi Tuesday, as he battled with Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton for the 270 electoral votes that will secure the presidency.

Mississippi’s incumbent U.S. Representatives Rep. Trent Kelly, Rep. Bennie Thompson, Rep. Gregg Harper and Rep. Steven Palazzo were re-elected Tuesday.

In state Supreme Court races, incumbent Justice Jim Kitchens defeated challenger Kenny Griffis, a court of appeals judge. The race saw almost a $1 million in spending by the two candidates’ committees, easily the most for any campaign in the state this year.

Supreme Court Justice Dawn Beam defeated challenger Michael Shareef for a Southern District Supreme Court seat.

Circuit Court Judge Bobby Chamberlin will face attorney John Brady in a runoff election in two weeks for the Northern district Supreme Court seat vacated by former Justice Ann Lamar. They held off Steve Crampton and James “Jim” Kitchens Jr. Tuesday.

NBC News and other media outlets projected the Mississippi election for Trump seconds after polls closed at 7 p.m. The Associated Press called the race 10 minutes before 8 p.m.

Trump, who garnered a substantial Mississippi lead in numerous polls conducted over a period of 18 months, had visited the state three times since he announced his candidacy in 2015 – once for a rally in Biloxi in January, once for a rally in Madison in March, and once for a rally and fundraising dinner in Jackson in August.

Trump’s support in Mississippi was bolstered by the support of numerous GOP statewide officials. Gov. Phil Bryant served as a national Trump surrogate, stumping in numerous states in recent weeks and serving as chief Mississippi fundraiser. State Treasurer Lynn Fitch served as head of Mississippi Women for Trump. Agriculture and Commerce Commissioner Cindy Hyde-Smith served on the Trump campaign’s agriculture advisory board.

Mississippi has not been won by a Democratic presidential candidate since Jimmy Carter in 1976. As a result, this year’s nominee Democratic nominee, Clinton, did not once campaign in Mississippi. The state Democratic Party devoted few resources to electing Clinton, hosting a handful of rallies and fundraisers in the past year and a half.

In all four Congressional races, incumbents faced very little challenge, both in name recognition and funding. Kelly beat out Jacob Owens, Cathy Toole and Chase Wilson. Thompson defeated John Bouie, Johnny McLeod and Troy Ray. Harper knocked off Dennis Quinn, Roger Gerrard, and Lajena Sheets. And Palazzo defeated Mark Gladney, Richard Blake McCluskey and Shawn O’Hara.