The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, a national Democratic Party-affiliated organization that supports statehouse races, announced Wednesday that it is aiming to boost candidates competing in five Mississippi legislative races this fall. 

“Democrats in Republican-controlled states like Mississippi are on the front lines of standing up to the GOP’s radical agenda,” interim DLCC President Heather Williams said in a statement. “These Democratic candidates are running to fight back against Republican extremism and ensure that all Mississippians are represented in their state legislature.” 

The five Democratic candidates the organization is supporting, all challenging Republican incumbents, are: 

  • Pam McKelvy Hamner (Senate District 2 in DeSoto County)
  • Andre DeBerry (Senate District 10 in Union, Lafayette, Marshall and Tate counties)
  • Donna Niewiaroski (House District 12 in Lafayette County)
  • David Olds (House District 24 in DeSoto County)
  • Annita Bonner (House District 86 in Wayne, Perry and Greene counties)

The five candidates are running in legislative districts that are currently represented by Republicans but are located in suburban areas or have districts with a higher percentage of Black voters and college-educated voters. 

It’s unclear exactly how much money the organization plans to invest in the races, but it’s notable the group, for the first time, is promoting candidates in Mississippi, a state dominated by GOP politics. Republicans control the Legislature, holding supermajority control of both the House and Senate — a reality that is unlikely to change in November.

Mississippi Democratic Party Chairman Cheikh Taylor told Mississippi Today that it is encouraging to see that the DLCC is investing in Mississippi and believes it could be a step forward to flipping seats occupied by conservative lawmakers.

“Mississippi should not be a state that national politics have given up on,” Taylor said. “In fact, we want to be sure we’re becoming more and more attractive because of the infrastructure we’re building here in Mississippi.” 

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Taylor, a native of Grenada, covers state government and statewide elections. He is a graduate of the University of Mississippi and Holmes Community College. Before joining Mississippi Today, Taylor reported on state and local government for the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, where he received an award for his coverage of the federal government’s lawsuit against the state’s mental health system.