Delbert Hosemann (left) and Jay Hughes.

Republican Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann has $2.7 million in his war chest as the summer campaigning season nears in his quest to win the office of lieutenant governor.

Hosemann’s Democratic opponent, state Rep. Jay Hughes of Oxford, has $414,777 in campaign reserves. But Hughes does not seem worried about the differential.

The first term state legislator already has loaned close to $1 million to his campaign – this year and through 2018 — and Hughes said he is willing to contribute more to his underdog effort to become the first Democrat to win the office of lieutenant governor since 1999.

“Whatever it takes to win,” he said, adding he is willing to spend the money because investing in the state is the best investment he could make.

Friday was the deadline for state and local candidates seeking office this year to file campaign finance reports with the Secretary of State’s office for the first four months of 2019.

Thus far in 2019, Hosemann has raised $366,990. Hughes has raised $391,806, but most of those funds came out on his own pocket.

“We continue to be encouraged by the support Mississippians have conveyed for our candidacy,” Hosemann said in a news release. “A strong economy, accessible healthcare, quality education system, and solid infrastructure—these are at the top of our priority list, and the message is resonating with citizens from Corinth to the Coast.”

While Hughes has been contributing large sums to his campaign, he plans to hold fundraisers in the coming months. He said he did not believe he should fundraise during the legislative session, which began in early January and ended in early April.

“So many important issues were brought forth this session and I wanted to make sure full attention was paid to bills that I sponsored, co-authored, supported and/or opposed because they are important to the citizens of Mississippi as a whole,” he said, adding he was thankful for the few donations he received. “There aren’t many large donations, which often come with secret handshakes and promises.”

Lesser known Shane Quick of DeSoto County is also running for lieutenant governor as a Republican. He has raised $101 for the year.

The fundraising of other statewide candidates as reported by Friday afternoon to the office of secretary of state include:

Attorney general

Republican Lynn Fitch of Madison, current treasurer, raised $259,107  and has $415,081 in cash on hand.

Republican Andy Taggart of Madison County raised $308,176 thus far this year and has $223,161 cash on hand.

Republican state Rep. Mark Baker, a state House member, reported raising $75,357 and having cash on hand of $368,200.

Democrat Jennifer Riley Collins, who faces no primary challenge, reported raising $29,385 and having cash on hand of $18,387.

Secretary of State

Former Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree, a Democrat, has raised $20,010 and has $16,616 in cash on hand.

Republican Sam Britton, current Public Service commissioner, raised $525,000, including a $500,000 loan, and has $395,000 on hand.

Republican Michael Watson of Pascagoula, a state senator, reported raising $199,240 for the year and has $500,255 cash on hand.

Democrat Maryra Hodges Hunt of Cruger has raised $357 and has no money reserved.


Republican David McRae has raised $609,348, including $500,100 of which is a loan from the candidate, and has $363,158 in cash on hand.

Republican Eugene Buck Clarke of Hollandale, a state senator, has raised $66,984 and has $78,697 in reserves.

Democrat Addie Lee Green reported raising $1,000 and spending none of the money.

Insurance commissioner

Republican incumbent Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney of Vicksburg reported garnering $819 in interest on reserves of $256,388.

Robert E. Amos, a Democrat, reported raising $7,900 and having cash on hand of $7,200.

Agriculture commissioner

Republican incumbent Andy Gipson reported raising $39,149 and having $39,418.40 in reserves.

Democratic challenger Rickey Cole reported raising $23,655 and having $22,127 of cash reserves.

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Bobby Harrison, Mississippi Today’s senior capitol reporter, covers politics, government and the Mississippi State Legislature. He also writes a weekly news analysis which is co-published in newspapers statewide. A native of Laurel, Bobby joined our team June 2018 after working for the North Mississippi Daily Journal in Tupelo since 1984. He is president of the Mississippi Capitol Press Corps Association and works with the Mississippi State University Stennis Institute to organize press luncheons. Bobby has a bachelor's in American Studies from the University of Southern Mississippi and has received multiple awards from the Mississippi Press Association, including the Bill Minor Best Investigative/In-depth Reporting and Best Commentary Column.