State Rep. Nick Bain, R-Corinth, right, answers a question from Rep. Edward Blackmon Jr., D-Canton, during a discussion over a bill that would ban gender affirming care for Mississippians 18 and under. Photo taken on Thursday, Jan. 19, 2023. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Veteran state Rep. Nick Bain, R-Corinth, admitted defeat late Wednesday in his House District 2 reelection effort, becoming the seventh incumbent legislator to lose thus far in this year’s election cycle.

Bain, who was first elected in 2011 as a Democrat, lost by 26 votes — 2,357 to 2,331 — to small business owner Brad Mattox. The Republican primary runoff election was held Aug. 29, but Bain waited to concede the close election until all the late arriving mail-in ballots and affidavit ballots were counted.

Among the issues in the Bain-Mattox contest was the fact that Bain voted along with a large majority of his legislative colleagues in 2020 to remove the old state flag, which included the Confederate battle emblem in its design.

“While these results are not what I wanted, I am grateful that I had the opportunity to serve the people of District 2…,” Bain said on social media. “It was my intent from the beginning to create a legacy that would make my children proud, that would offer all Mississippians an opportunity to rise to the opportunities of the 21st Century, and as it is said, to leave the campground cleaner than I found it.”

Bain switched to the Republican Party before his 2019 reelection campaign and served the past term as Judiciary B committee chair.

Other House incumbents who lost in the party primary elections are:

  • Republican Brady Williamson of Oxford who lost in District 10 to Josh Hawkins.
  • Republican Perry Van Bailey of Calhoun County who was defeated in District 23 by Andrew Stepp.
  • Seven-term Democratic legislative veteran Rufus Straughter of Belzoni who was upended in District 51 by Timaka James-Jones.
  • Republican Doug McLeod of Lucedale who was toppled in District 107 by Ronald Lott.
  • Republican first-term incumbent Dale Goodin of Richton who was defeated in a District 105 runoff election by Elliott Burch.

Three-term incumbent Philip Moran, R-Kiln, was the only Senate incumbent to lose, being defeated by Philmon Ladner.

Multiple incumbents will face opposition in the November general election. Democrats, though, are not challenging in enough legislative seats to garner a majority in either chamber. Democrats are running enough legislative candidates to erase the Republican two-thirds supermajorities in both chambers, though they are not likely to win enough seats to achieve that goal.

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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.