PRESIDENTIAL – CONGRESSIONAL – MUNICIPAL
From Staff Reports
This Tuesday is a big day for voters in Perry County as after several months of sorting through campaign rhetoric (and unsolicited mail), they will finally get to have their say in the 2020 Presidential race.
Voters inside the town limits of Richton will actually have two seperate chances to select their government representatives as Tuesday is also the date of the runoff election to fill a vacant seat on the town’s board of aldermen.
Voters in 14 states went to the polls this week in what is commonly known as the Super Tuesday primaries. Mississippi voters will get their turn this coming week (March 10) when the Republican and Democratic primaries are held here.
While Mississippi voters are not required to declare a party affiliation when registering to vote, they will have to decide which party primary they wish to participate in when they go to their polling places Tuesday.
On the Republican side, President Donald Trump has drawn challenges. In Mississippi, President Trump will face off against former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld and businessman Rocky De La Fuente.
On the Democratic side, voters will have 10 options for their pick to presumably take on Trump in November’s General Election. However, while 10 names are on the ballot and voters can cast their vote for any of them, only five are officially still in the race. Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, former New York City Mayor and billionaire businessman Michael R. Bloomberg, U.S. Senator from Hawaii Tulsi Gabbard, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren are all still actively seeking the Democratic nomination. Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Deval Patrick, Tom Steyer and Andrew Yang each qualified to be on the Mississippi ballot, but have since announced they were ending their campaigns.
Choosing who they will support for president is not the only decision local voters will have. They also get to cast their votes for one of the state’s U.S. Senate seats and the 4th Congressional District seat in the U.S. House of Representative.
In the Republican Primary, incumbent U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith is unopposed in her reelection bid. However, there are three candidates vying for the opportunity to take on Hyde-Smith in November, including the man who went toe-to-toe with her last year in the special election to fill the seat of longtime Senator Thad Cochran. Hyde-Smith, who was appointed to the post by former Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant in 2018 after the resignation of Cochran, claimed that election, but had to continue campaigning as the fight for a full, 6-year term got underway immediately after the election.
Former U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy, who ran unsuccessfully against Hyde-Smith in 2018, is back on the ticket for 2020. He will face former Navy intelligence officer and State Department consultant Tobey Bernard Bartee and Jensen Bohren in the Democratic Primary on Tuesday.
No Democrats are looking to unseat incumbent 4th District Congressman Steven M. Palazzo, but three members of his own Republican Party are. Palazzo is facing challenges from retired businessman Carl Boyanton, attorney and Biloxi city alderman Robert L. Deming III and former Congressional staffer Samuel Hickman.
Polls will be open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. on Tuesday. Absentee voting will continue through this Saturday and Circuit Clerk Christy Mayo says her office will be open from 8 a.m. until noon on March 7 to accommodate voters eligible to vote by absentee. For more information on that process, contact Mayo’s office at (601)964-8663.
Richton voters to decide on alderman in runoff vote
Richton voters will head over to Town Hall to help choose who fill the vacant spot on the town’s board of aldermen.
Four candidates were on the ballot for the Feb. 18 special election for the open seat, but none claimed the simple majority of votes required to claim the position. Brenda Phillips and Eric Meadows were the top vote-getters and will face off in Tuesday’s runoff.
Phillips led the ticket on Feb. 18 with 36 percent of the vote totals. Meadows followed closely behind 33 percent.
The position on the council became vacant after former council member Larry Wilson was elected as Perry County Chancery Clerk in the November General Election.
The election is open to all Richton residents who are registered to vote in municipal elections. Town Hall will be open for voting from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m.