Dear Reader,

Mississippi, our home state that showcases plenty to be proud of and celebrate, also faces some pretty dire and complex problems.

Federal and state prosecutors are still investigating the state’s welfare scandal, what some have labeled the largest embezzlement scheme in state history in which tens of millions of dollars intended for our poorest residents were misspent or squandered by powerful, wealthy and politically connected people.

Our state’s already weak hospital system is continuing to show signs of impending failure, with many rural hospitals on the brink of closure and even large metropolitan hospitals forced to cut critical health care services and lay off employees to make ends meet.

Residents of Jackson, our state’s capital and largest city, lost running water for days last fall and may never be able to trust the safety and reliability of the water system again. The state as a whole has the highest homicide rate in the nation, our state’s young people are moving away at a troubling pace, and our economy is struggling to keep up with our immediate neighbors.

Voters this year have a chance to address all of these problems and more at the polls in August and November. Candidates for the state’s most powerful elected positions are already sharing their ideas for how to create a better future for all Mississippians.

Mississippi is one of just three states with gubernatorial elections this year, meaning we’ll get lots of national attention in the campaign for governor. But we also have seven other crucial statewide offices up for grabs, two key regional commission elections, as well as 174 legislative races and district attorney races. All of these people will be elected by Mississippians later this year to positions where they absolutely could improve problems and lives across the state.

We’re already becoming overloaded with rhetoric from both sides of the political aisle, making it difficult to understand which ideas from candidates are real or feasible. We have critical questions for those seeking office, but it’s often impossible to sift through talking points to understand which of those ideas could be most effective for us.

That’s why we wanted to create this voter guide, where you can find most everything you need to know about our 2023 statewide elections. We’ll keep asking every major candidate for office this year key questions about how they would use their positions of power for good, and we’ll present their answers in an easy-to-digest way.

Here, you will also find basic information about how to vote, as well as critical voting deadlines. We believe that civic engagement is the most effective way we can help move Mississippi forward. We hope this will be a helpful resource as you navigate these next few weeks before Election Day, but we want to know how it could be improved.

If you don’t see something you’d like to know, view our full coverage. There, you’ll find the most robust, comprehensive coverage of Mississippi politics. If you still have questions or suggestions for us, don’t hesitate to reach out.

Thank you, as always, for reading.

And don’t forget to vote on Aug. 8, and then again on Nov. 7!

Adam Ganucheau,

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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.