A voter walks into Twin Lakes Baptist Church in Madison, Miss., Tuesday, November 5, 2019. Credit: Eric J. Shelton/Mississippi Today, Report For America

Democratic candidates have filed paperwork to challenge Republican incumbents for all eight statewide offices.

The deadline to qualify to run for office in the November 2023 elections was Feb. 1. Democrats, who have suffered an ongoing string of elections losses in Mississippi, have candidates to challenge all eight Republican statewide office incumbents.

But whether the Democratic candidates, who are mostly unknown statewide, can garner the voter support and financial resources needed to run competitive campaigns remains to be seen.

Northern District Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley of Nettleton announced last month that he would challenge incumbent Gov. Tate Reeves. Pundits believe Presley is the favorite to win the Democratic primary in August and advance to the November general election. But Presley will first have to defeat Democratic primary challengers Bob Hickingbottom and Gregory Wash, both of Jackson.

Reeves is being challenged in the Republican primary by John Witcher and David Grady Hardigree. Independent Gray Gwendolyn also will be on the November general election ballot for governor.

State Sen. Chris McDaniel of Ellisville already has announced he is challenging incumbent Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann in the Republican primary. Also entering the primary will be Tiffany Longino and Shane Quick.

D. Ryan Grover of Hattiesburg has qualified to run for lieutenant governor as a Democrat.

For attorney general, Jackson attorney Greta Martin will challenge Republican incumbent Lynn Fitch.

In other races:

  • Secretary of state: Democrat Shuwaski Young will challenge Republican incumbent Michael Watson.
  • Treasurer: Democrat Addie Green will challenge Republican incumbent David McRae.
  • Auditor: Democrat Larry Bradford will challenge Republican incumbent Shad White.
  • Insurance commissioner: Democrat Bruce Burton and Republican Mitch Young are both vying against Republican incumbent Mike Chaney.
  • Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce: Four Democrats — Terry Rogers ll, Robert Bradford, Robert Briggs and Bethany Hill — will compete for the right to face Republican incumbent Andy Gipson in the November general election.

Democrat De’Keither Stamps will square off in the second consecutive election with Republican incumbent Brent Bailey for the Central District Public Service Commission post. Bailey defeated Stamps, now a state House member, in 2019 in a closely contested election.

Three Republicans but no Democrats are running to replace Presley for the Northern District Public Service Commissioner: Mandy Ganasekara, Tanner Newman and Chris Brown.

Incumbent Southern District Public Service Commissioner Dane Maxwell will face Nelson Wayne Carr in the Republican primary.

For the open seat of Southern District Transportation commissioner, Republican state Rep. Charlies Busby will face independent Steven Brian Griffin in November.

And Democratic Central District Commissioner Willie Simmons will face Republican Rickey Pennington Jr.

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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.