Sizing Up Jackson Races | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Sizing Up Jackson Races

Hinds County Courthouse.

Hinds County Courthouse. Photo by Trip Burns.

The filing deadline for state and county offices has passed, and we have our first glimpse of the battle lines for the Aug. 4 party primaries and the November general election.

Most of the interesting action will be on the down-ticket statewide races and locally in Hinds County, where shifts have occurred right up until the very end.

Notably, Dr. Valerie Short was one of the last Democrats to file for the governor's race. A United States Air Force veteran, Short said through a statement that Mississippians "have been failed by our political leaders in Jackson, who only care about scoring political points against the White House and not about helping the hardworking families who are struggling daily to make ends meet in Mississippi."

"We need new leaders from outside the current political establishment who have a clearer vision for improving our schools and creating a healthier economy here," added Short, who lives in Ridgeland.

Another eyebrow raiser came when Republican Hinds County District 4 Supervisor Tony Greer withdrew his election bid for the Board of Supervisors and threw his hat into the ring for the Public Service Commission from Central District. He joins a crowded GOP field that includes attorney Mitch Tyner and environmental engineer Brent Bailey.

With incumbent Lynn Posey's departure, many observers of state politics believed that state Rep. Cecil Brown, D-Jackson, would be the favorite for the PSC position.

Another surprise came when longtime Hinds County Circuit Clerk Barbara Dunn did not file for reelection. Dunn has repeatedly come under fire during her tenure as overseer of county court records. Zack Wallace, a top Dunn deputy, has announced that he would run, as has Vikki Mumford—who has sought the seat before—and Cedric Morgan.

Legislative races in the Democratic stronghold have also shaped up to be interesting. State Rep. Mary Coleman is running for Transportation Commission from the Central District. Her daughter, Arqullas Coleman, will seek the state Rep. seat her mother is vacating. Arqullas Coleman faces challenges from technology consultant James Covington and Jackson businessman Chris Bell.

Not surprisingly, state Rep. Deborah Dixon, D-Raymond, who has alienated some members of her party by allying herself with House Republicans, including Speaker Philip Gunn, drew a primary challenge.

Machelle Shelby Kyles of Bolton, an ally of powerful Democratic Congressman Bennie Thompson, is also running for a legislative seat.

"Our communities are already struggling, and when you add the total disregard by the state Legislature to adequately fund education, ensure job creation and economic development, and their unwillingness to expand Medicaid, I say they have failed us," Kyles said in the press release.

Republican state Rep. Bill Denny drew no Democratic opponent in his northeast Jackson district. After redistricting, Rep. Cecil Brown would have been forced to run against Denny, who helped oversee the redistricting process, this year.

Also in Jackson, state Rep. Jim Evans is getting a surprising number of primary challenges, including fellow community activist Kathy Sykes, Tammy Cotton and politically connected attorney Sam Begley.

Here's a complete list of legislative, state and local candidates, compiled from party records and media reports. An asterisk denotes an incumbent.

Hinds County Sheriff

*Tyrone Lewis (D)

Victor Mason (D)

Reginald Thompson (I)

Charlette Stewart Oswalt (R)

Les Tannehill (I)

Anthony Thomas (D)

Hinds County District Attorney

*Robert Shuler Smith (D)

Stanley Alexander (D)

Hinds County Chancery Clerk

*Eddie Jean Carr (D)

Stephanie McKenzie-Foster (D)

Hinds County Board of Supervisors

District 1

*Robert Graham (D)

Albert Wilson (D)

Vallena Greer (D)

District 2

*Darrel McQuirter (D)

Alphonso Hunter (D)

David Archie (D)

District 5

William Billy Halcomb (D)

Robert E. Bufkins (D)

Bobby McGowan (I)

Keith Cameron (D)

George S. Welch (D)

Henry D. Fuller (D)

Connie E. Little (D)

Eric Stringfellow (D)

Henry Grigsby (D)

Al Stubblefield (I)

District 3

*Peggy Hobson Calhoun (D)

Rev. Jeffery Stallworth (D)

Silas Bolden (D)

District 4

Mike Morgan (R)

Mike Maldonado (R)

James "Lap" Baker (D)

Teresa Mack (D)

Vern Gavin (D)

Tax collector

*Eddie Fair (D)

Santore D. Bracey (D)

Tax Assessor

*Charles Stokes

County Attorney

  • Sherri Flowers-Billups

Justice Court Judge

District 1

*Don Palmer

District 2

*Ivory Britton (D)

Tabitha Britton-Porter (D)

District 3

*Frank Sutton

District 4

*Jimmy Morton (R)

Joanna Weathersby-Archie (D)

Rodriguez Johnson (D)

District 5

*Pearlie Brown-Owens


District 1

*Jerry Moore (D)

Lee Young Sr. (D)

District 2

*John Brown (D)

Eddie J. Robinson (D)

Leon Jones (I)

District 3

*Lawrence Funchess (D)

Lonnie Gene Holmes Jr. (D)

Joe Coleman (D)

Jason Wells (R)

District 4

*Jon Lewis (R)

Leon Seals (D)

Robert Young (I)

Lawrence Duncan (D)

District 5

*Bennie Buckner


*Sharon Grisham-Stewart

Here are the major-party and independent candidates running for statewide offices in Mississippi this year, according to the state Democratic and Republican parties and the secretary of state's office.


Democrat: Robert Gray, Valerie Adream Smartt Short, Vicki Slater.

Republican: Phil Bryant (incumbent), Mitch Young.

Lieutenant Governer

Democrat: Jelanie Barr, Tim Johnson.

Republican: Tate Reeves (incumbent), Alisha Nelson McElhenney.

Attorney General

Democrat: Jim Hood (incumbent).

Republican: Mike Hurst.

Secretary of State

Democrat: Charles E. Graham.

Republican: Delbert Hosemann (incumbent).


Democrat: No candidate.

Republican: Lynn Fitch (incumbent), David McRae.


Democrat: Joce Pritchett.

Republican: Stacey Pickering (incumbent), Mary Hawkins Butler.

Insurance Commissioner

Democrat: No candidate.

Republican: Mike Chaney (incumbent), John Mosley.

Agriculture Commissioner

Democrat: Addie Lee Green.

Republican: Cindy Hyde-Smith (incumbent).

Transportation Commission

Northern District

Democrat: Danny Woods.

Republican: Mike Tagert (incumbent), Chip Johnson, Jimmie D. Mills, Geoffrey Yoste.

Central District

Democrat: Robert Amos, Mary Coleman, Natasha Magee-Woods,

Republican: Dick Hall (incumbent).

Southern District

Democrat: Chad Toney.

Republican: Tom King (incumbent).

Public Service Commission

Northern District

Democrat: Brandon Presley (incumbent).

Republican: Mike Maynard.

Central District

Democrat: Cecil Brown, Bruce Burton.

Republican: Brent Bailey, Tony Greer, Mitch Tyner.

Southern District

Democrat: Tom Blanton.

Republican: Samuel F. "Sam" Britton, Mike Collier, Tony Smith.

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