Sheriff Eddie Scott sits for a portrait in his office in West Point, Miss., on June 29, 2023. Credit: Rory Doyle for The New York Times

Over 20 new sheriffs and three new district attorneys are expected to take office next year following last week’s primary elections, and that number could grow after runoff elections later this month and the November general election. 

There are at least a dozen runoff sheriff elections scheduled for Aug. 29, according to a review of unofficial election results, and a dozen sheriff incumbents who ran without opponents who will face a challenger on Nov 7. 

About half of the state’s incumbent sheriffs faced no challengers and are expected to be the only name on the ballot in the general election. The same is true for most of the state’s district attorneys and coroners. 

Here is a look at wins and losses from the primary elections and what is to come for the runoffs and general election.  


Clay County: Sheriff Eddie Scott won the Democratic primary against challengers Chief Deputy Sheriff Ramirez Williams and law enforcement officer Cedric Sykes with 51% of the vote, according to unofficial election results.  

Scott was the subject of a July investigation by Mississippi Today and the New York Times that details accusations that he used his office’s power to harass women who were detained at the jail or worked for the sheriff’s office, coerce some into sex and retaliate against those who alleged abuse or criticsized him.  

In an interview with Mississippi Today, Scott denied the allegations. 

Last month, he said he would be vindicated and that voters would see through the allegations to re-elect him. 

DeSoto County: Thomas Tuggle will become the county’s first Black sheriff since Reconstruction. He ran against County Supervisor Michael Lee in the GOP primary to replace Sheriff Bill Rasco, who will retire after 15 years. 

Tuggle, a Republican, is a Marine Corps veteran and worked in local and state law enforcement, including as director of the Mississippi Law Enforcement Officer Training Academy. Lee is also a former law enforcement officer. 

Hinds County: Incumbent Tyree Jones won about 70% of the vote in a second faceoff against former interim sheriff Marshand Crisler, who is under federal indictment on bribery charges. 

Jones will face Independent candidate Reginald Thompson, who has worked for the sheriff’s office and the Bolton Police Department. 

Lauderdale County: Chief Deputy Sheriff Ward Calhoun and Lauderdale County Justice Court Judge Ricky Roberts faced off in the GOP primary to succeed longtime Sheriff William “Billy” Sollie. 

Calhoun will face Gerald Reon Johnson, a Democrat who has worked as an auxiliary officer with the Meridian Police Department and operated a private security agency. 

District Attorney

5th Circuit Court District: Assistant District Attorney William Adam Hopper won the GOP primary against fellow ADA Rosaline Jordan. 

Instead of waiting until January to take office, Hopper will step into the role this week after Gov. Tate Reeves appointed him to serve the remainder of Doug Evans’ term. 

Evans retired in June instead of finishing out his term. He ran for 5th Circuit Court judge last year, but lost in a runoff election to then-Winona Municipal Court Judge Alan “Devo” Lancaster

Hopper worked with Evans on the Curtis Flowers case. Flowers faced six prosecutions by Evans and his team of assistant district attorneys for the 1997 killings of four people at the Tardy Furniture Store in Winona. Four of those convictions included the death penalty, but they were overturned by state and federal courts. 

In 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Flowers’ conviction, saying Evans barred Black jurors in the case. A year later the state dropped charges against Flowers after he spent 23 years in prison. 

6th Circuit Court District (Adams, Amite, Franklin and Wilkinson counties): Incumbent District Attorney Shameca Collins is seeking a second term, and will face Independent Tim Cotton, a Natchez attorney, in the general election. 

Jody Owens Credit: Eric J. Shelton/Mississippi Today, Report For America

7th Circuit Court District (Hinds County): Incumbent Jody Owens, also seeking a second term, will face a challenge from Independent Darla Palmer in November. Owens faced off against the Jackson attorney in the 2019 Democratic primary. 

14th Circuit Court  District (Lincoln, Pike and Walthall counties): Democrat Patrick Beasley and Republican Brandon Adams are seeking to succeed District Attorney Dewitt “Dee Bates,” who has been in office since 2003.  

16th Circuit Court District (Clay, Oktibbeha, Lowndes and Noxubee counties): Attorney J. Douglas “Jase” Dalrymple II won the GOP primary against Attorney Chuck Easley. The current incumbent district attorney, Scott Colom, was the only candidate listed on the democratic primary ballot and will face Dalrymple in November. 

Colom was nominated last year for a judgeship with the U.S. District Court of Northern Mississippi, but that confirmation has been held up by Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith. 

23rd Circuit Court District: This is the first elected, full term for a district attorney to represent DeSoto County, which was made into its own judicial district earlier this year. 

Special prosecutor and private attorney Matthew Barton beat Robert ‘Bob’ Reid Morris III in the GOP primary with about 60% of the vote, according to unofficial results. 

Gov. Reeves appointed then-assistant district attorney Morris to become district attorney 

in September after the death of John Champion and prior to DeSoto becoming its own judicial district. 

Barton said most of DeSoto’s crime problems are because of Memphis and he said the office would bring harsher penalties for people from there who commit crimes in the county, according to his campaign website

“Stop Memphis. Save Desoto” he said in a post announcing his primary win. 

Lauderdale County Coroner: For the first time in decades, the country won’t have a coroner with the last name “Cobler.” Clayton Cobler is the current coroner, and his father, Marl Cobler,  also served in that role before him. Clayon Cobler has served for 20 years in that position; his father for 24.

Two GOP candidates, Stella McMahan and Kenneth Graham, are headed to a runoff, local media reported from unofficial election results. The winner will face Democrat Rita Jackson in the general election. 

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Mina, a California native, covers the criminal justice system. Before joining Mississippi Today, she was a reporter for the Clarion Ledger and newspapers in Massachusetts. Her work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe and USA Today.