Republican Delbert Hosemann made it official today that he will seek a third term as Mississippi secretary of state.
As the state's top elections officer, Hosemann, 67, was in charge of implementing a controversial voter identification law that took effect last year. People are required to show a driver's license or other government-issued photo ID at the polls. Those who don't have one of the required types of ID can get one free at a circuit clerk's office. The secretary of state also manages publicly owned 16th Section land and tidelands.
Today's announcement ended speculation over Hosemann's political future and, specifically, whether he would seek higher state office or a congressional seat. Hosemann briefly ran for U.S. House of Representatives, once in 1981 and again in 1998, losing both campaigns.
Hosemann was born in Vicksburg and attended Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind., graduating in 1969. He went to law school at the University of Mississippi, where he graduated in 1972 and spent another year continuing his studies, receiving a master's degree in taxation from New York University in 1973.
So far, Hosemann is the only person to enter the secretary of state race. Gov. Phil Bryant also recently officially submitted papers to run for reelection. He could face Democratic challenger Vicki Slater if she does not face a primary challenge.
The statewide qualifying deadline is Friday, Feb. 27.