Wednesday, October 14, 2020
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Three Republicans and a Democrat won special-election runoffs Tuesday to fill seats in the Mississippi Legislature, and will serve the rest of four-year terms ending in January 2024.
Although candidates in Mississippi special elections run without party labels, they often tell voters their political affiliation. The winners of Tuesday's runoffs are in the same parties as the people who previously held the seats. Republicans retain strong majorities in the 122-member House and 52-member Senate.
SENATE DISTRICT 15
Businessman Bart Williams of Starkville defeated educator Joyce Meek Yates in Choctaw, Montgomery, Oktibbeha and Webster counties. Williams will succeed fellow Republican Gary Jackson of French Camp, who resigned June 30 because of health concerns. Jackson had served in the Senate since 2004.
SENATE DISTRICT 39
Attorney Jason Barrett of Brookhaven defeated Bank of Brookhaven chairman Bill Sones in Copiah, Lawrence, Lincoln and Walthall counties. Barrett will succeed fellow Republican Sally Doty of Brookhaven, who resigned in mid-July after the governor nominated her as director of the state Public Utilities Staff, which analyzes proposals and provides advice to the Public Service Commission's three elected members. Doty had served in the Senate since 2012.
HOUSE DISTRICT 37
Lynn Wright, a former Lowndes County School District superintendent, defeated pool service owner David M. Chism in Clay, Lowndes and Oktibbeha counties. Wright will succeed fellow Republican Gary Chism of Columbus, who resigned June 30 after serving since 2000. Chism had a stroke in 2017 and said he had not enjoyed legislative service as much since then. Gary Chism and David Chism are cousins.
HOUSE DISTRICT 66
Jackson City Councilman De’Keither A. Stamps defeated former teacher Robert C. “Bob” Lee Jr. in Hinds County. Stamps succeeds fellow Democrat Jarvis Dortch of Raymond, who resigned July 1 to become director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Mississippi. Dortch had served in the House since 2016.