Three candidates are vying Tuesday for a state Senate seat left vacant by Sean Tindell, who was appointed to the Mississippi Court of Appeals earlier this year.

The district in question mostly serves the city of Gulfport, and voters will choose between Dan Carr, a Baptist youth pastor; Joel Carter, a real estate developer; and Ron Meyers, an event planner.

Special legislative elections are technically nonpartisan under state law, but a look at campaign finance reports hint at a candidate’s political leanings in any given race.

Carter raised by far the most cash for the race – $165,000, including a $75,000 loan from Carter himself. His finance report shows donations from conservative elected officials, Coast business moguls, and Jackson political action committees.

Republican Gov. Phil Bryant’s political action committee cut a $1,000 check to Carter. Gulfport Mayor Billy Hewes, who held the seat in question for 20 years before running for lieutenant governor in 2011, gave Carter $500 through his own political action committee.

Carter also received contributions from several Jackson-based PACs, including the Mississippi Association of Educators PAC, the Mississippi Realtors PAC, and the Mississippi Public Education PAC.

If Carter were elected, he’d be in the good graces of his new boss, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, who received a $2,500 contribution from Carter’s campaign committee in October.

Carr raised $7,400 for the race, while Meyers raised $3,000.

If no single candidate garners 50 percent of the vote, a runoff would occur on Jan. 9.

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Adam Ganucheau, as Mississippi Today's editor-in-chief, oversees the newsroom and works with the editorial team to fulfill our mission of producing high-quality journalism in the public interest. Adam has covered politics and state government for Mississippi Today since February 2016. A native of Hazlehurst, Adam has worked as a staff reporter for, The Birmingham News and The Clarion-Ledger and his work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post and Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Adam earned his bachelor’s in journalism from the University of Mississippi.