Election season off to fast start!
Multiple candidates already qualified. Qualifying deadline is Feb. 1.
From Staff Reports
The 2023 election season is off and running and with a full slate of county and state offices up for grabs, this year’s cycle promises to be an active one.
The qualifying period for candidates officially began Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2023, and will continue until 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 1. That leaves less than a month for any local residents interested in seeking public office to take the steps necessary to get their names on the ballot.
Qualifying packets for all local races are available from the Perry County Circuit Clerk’s office in the courthouse in New Augusta. The information is also available online at www.sos.ms.gov/elections-voting/candidate-qualifying-forms.
As of late Wednesday afternoon, 17 individuals had submitted qualifying papers to the Perry County Circuit Clerk’s office. That number included 4-of-5 current county supervisors and incumbents in each of the major county-wide offices. There are also challengers lining up to challenge current office holders.
Nearly all county-level elected positions will be on the ballots this year, including county-wide posts like sheriff, chancery and circuit clerks, tax assessor and coroner, and district posts such as the county supervisors, constables and justice court judges. A notable exception is the offices of the election commissioners, with only two of those five positions up for grabs in 2023.
Historically, all five county election commissioners have been elected in the Presidential Election cycle. But the law was changed to stagger the election cycle, presumably to ensure there are commissioners serving at all times who have experience with election laws and the task of maintaining records and actually holding the elections. Commissioners from Dist. Two and Dist. Four will be elected this cycle, with the other three districts (one, three and five) to remain on the presidential cycle.
Generally, candidates must be a resident of the political subdivision in which he or she is running, and not having been convicted of certain felonies and other crimes. Candidates for county-wide office must be a county resident for the past two years. The county prosecutor must be a practicing attorney and the coroner must be at least 21, have a high school degree or equivalent and complete required training. County district offices such as supervisor also have the two-year residency requirement and a justice court judge also needs a high school graduation equivalent and complete required training.
Candidates can run as a political party candidate or as an independent. Party candidates will compete in party primary elections in August to determine who that party’s nominee will be on the November general election. Independent candidates will not be voted on until the General Election in November.
There is a qualifying fee of $100 for every county elected office, except election commissioners. Residents seeking office must also file a qualifying statement of intent.
Election commissioners and anyone seeking office as an independent candidate have to file qualifying petitions with a required number of signatures of registered voters. Candidates must also file reports with the state ethics commission, possible economic interest and financial campaign reports.
The elected positions that will be on this year’s ballots in Mississippi are:
n statewide offices of Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, State Auditor, State Treasurer, Commissioner of Insurance and Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce.
n state district offices for the state legislature (State Senate and House of Representatives), transportation commissioners, public service commissioners, and district attorneys; and
n county offices such as sheriff, chancery clerk, circuit clerk, tax assessor-collector, constables, justice court judges, coroner and county prosecuting attorney.
Anyone considering a run for public office or needing more information about the voting process should contact the Circuit Clerk’s office or check out the Secretary of State’s election information online.