Three legislative seats up for grabs on Election Day

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Rogelio V. Solis, AP

A voter casts her ballot at Chastain Middle School in Jackson.

Mississippians in three districts will choose new legislators Tuesday for two seats in the House of Representatives and one seat in the Senate.

Here’s a rundown of those races and the candidates running for the open positions:

House District 38 — Oktibbeha, Clay, Lowndes Counties

Three candidates are vying for the House District 38 seat, left vacant by Rep. Tyrone Ellis, D-Starkville, who retired earlier this year.

Oktibbeha County residents Narissa Bradford, Cheikh Taylor and Lisa Wynn are running for the seat. Though Mississippi law dictates that special legislative election candidates run without partisan labels, all three candidates have said they would caucus with Democrats in the House.

House District 54 — Warren, Issaqueena, Yazoo Counties

Three candidates are running for the House District 54 seat, left vacant by Rep. Alex Monsour, R-Vicksburg, who was elected Vicksburg city alderman in June. Elected officials cannot hold two seats within the same branch of government, according to the Secretary of State’s Office.

Vicksburg residents Joe Bonelli, Randy Easterling and Kevin Ford are running. All three candidates have said they would caucus with Republicans in the House.

Senate District 10 — Marshall and Tate Counties

Five candidates are running for Senate District 10 seat, left vacant by Sen. Bill Stone, D-Holly Springs, who stepped down earlier this year to become manager of a local municipal utility. Stone had recently served as Senate minority leader.

Lennell “Big Luke” Lucas of Holly Springs, Michael Cathey of Senatobia, Ray Minor of Waterford, Sharon Gipson of Holly Springs and Neil Whaley of Potts Camp are running for the seat. Four of the candidates, with the exception of Whaley, have said they would caucus with Democrats.

If no candidate in any of the three elections garner 50 percent of the vote on Tuesday, a runoff between the two candidates receiving the most votes will occur Nov. 27.

Republicans in both the House and the Senate enjoy three-fifths supermajorities, meaning no Democratic votes are necessary to pass any legislation, including tax and budget bills. Tuesday’s elections will not swing supermajorities in either chamber.

One Senate seat remains vacant. Former Sen. Sean Tindell, R-Gulfport, was appointed to the state Court of Appeals by Gov. Phil Bryant, and Bryant set a special election for that seat on Dec. 19.

The 2018 legislative session will begin Jan. 2 and is scheduled to end on April 1.