Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Sid Salter: 2018 elections confusing to voters.

Confused about the 2018 elections in Mississippi? You likely aren’t alone.

 Mississippi voters will elect two U.S. senators in the 2018 elections. There is a regular election Class I Senate seat up for grabs for a full six-year term to run from 2019 to 2025. The party primaries for this race will be held June 5. The general election will be held Nov. 6. Ten candidates have qualified for this race.

Then there’s a special election Class II Senate seat being contested for a partial term that will end in 2021. The nonpartisan special election will be held Nov. 6. Five candidates have qualified for this race.

The Class I and Class II business isn’t a distinction between the rank or effectiveness of the two U.S. Senate seats, but has to do with the fact that the 100-member legislative body is divided into three classes of 33 or 34 each based on when they are up for re-election – with Class I members having terms ending in 2019 while Class II members have terms ending in 2021 and Class III members in 2023.

Mississippi’s incumbent Class I U.S. senator is incumbent Republican Sen. Roger Wicker of Tupelo, who faces GOP primary challenger Richard W. Boyanton of Hancock County. Democratic Party primary contenders include attorney and State Rep. David Baria of Bay St. Louis, self-styled “Berniecrat” Jenson Bohren of Madison, Jerone Garland of Kosciusko, former Marine and businessman Victor G. Maurice Jr. of Gulfport, nursing home administrator and longtime State Rep. Omeria Scott of Laurel, and businessman Howard Sherman of Meridian (the husband of actress Sela Ward).

The GOP and Democratic nominees will face Libertarian and retired U.S. Navy diver Danny Bedwell of Columbus and Reform Party perennial candidate Shawn O’Hara of Hattiesburg.

Mississippi’s interim Class II U.S. senator is Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith of Brookhaven, appointed by Gov. Phil Bryant to fill the unexpired term of former U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran, who stepped down from the post in April citing persistent health problem.

Challenging Hyde-Smith in the nonpartisan special election for the right to succeed Cochran is former municipal candidate Tobey Bartee of Gautier, former Democratic U.S. Secretary of Agriculture and congressman Mike Espy of Madison, attorney and veteran Republican State Sen. Chris McDaniel of Ellisville (who lost a bruising 2014 GOP primary to Cochran), and Democratic Tupelo Mayor Jason Shelton.

Between state and federal elections, Mississippi voters in any election cycle have to pay attention to the process to ensure that their voice is heard in choosing local, state and federal leaders.

Municipal elections were last held in 2017 and will next be held in 2021. Statewide courthouse to statehouse elections – from county offices like sheriff and supervisor to legislative seats and state district offices to the eight statewide offices like governor and attorney general - were last held in 2015 and loom again in 2019.

Judicial elections for portions of the state Supreme Court and state Court of Appeals and some Chancery and Circuit court districts were last held in 2016 and more will be held this year.

The presidential election was last held in 2016 and will next be held in 2020 – and congressional elections are held every two years with the last held in 2016 and those same offices will be decided again in the 2018 election.
Deaths, resignations, and other circumstances normally sprinkle in a number of special elections each year as well – adding to the political noise.

But with 15 U.S. Senate candidates seeking votes in two distinct Senate races – one with primaries and one without – pardon Mississippi voters if many of them can’t tell the players without a program. And let’s not forget that Sen. McDaniel had his hat – at various points over the last few months – in both Senate race rings.

Sid Salter is a syndicated columnist. Contact him at


Anonymous said...

Cochran seat

So all mike has to do is beat the other 2?

Nobody has to get to 50%?

Anonymous said...

I cannot bring myself to read past Salter's headlines anymore.

Anonymous said...

Does Salter really think we don't pay attention? I'm not confused at all. I've had my mind made up on these races.

Anonymous said...

Cochran's exit may be the biggest hoax ever perpetuated on the citizens of Ms. If you liked Cochran, you'll love Hyde-Smith. Cochran's handlers and the republican party, may have just handed this senate seat to someone indescribably bogus, and I can't imagine Cindy holding a senatorial seat for 40 years. Imagine if that happened. Gawd help us all.

Anonymous said...

I wasn't aware of the Class designation. But I do know that Bryant showed zero class when he appointed democrat Hyde-Smith to the vacancy created (by agreement) by Cochran.

Anonymous said...

10:21 - Wow; You're a bright bulb now, aren'tcha? All any of them has to do is beat the other 2. How did you figure this out?

Raynell Clovis Newgene Ledbetter from Yazoo City said...

Durrrrrr...ya mean they's diffurnt groups of senaters that get lected ever two yars? I dun thinked they all gots elected ever yar. Mebbe that splains how come the votin' people ain't thar on them odd numbered yars.

Thanky, Sid! I musta missed that day in skool when I was out mud racin' or workin' the cotton fields or investin' in timber rights. I ain't confuzed no more!

Now if'n I could jest figger out how ta tie my shoes and put on my undiewears...

Anonymous said...

To 11:21...I didn't realize your version of the GOP came with a purity test. Cindy Hyde-Smith switched to the GOP is 2010, was elected to statewide office in 2011 as a Republican and re-elected in a Republican. You know who else was a registered Democrat before joining the GOP? Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump.

And just in case you think Hyde-Smith is the first state senator to switch to the GOP, here's a list of other legislators who left the Democratic Party and the year they did so (thanks to Bill Crawford for compiling this list):

Senators Terry Burton, President Pro Tempore and Rules Committee Chairman (2002), Videt Carmichael, Insurance Committee Chairman (2002), Tommy Gollott, Ports and Marine Resources Committee Chairman (2007), Gray Tollison, Education Committee Chairman (2011), and Nicky Browing, Forestry Committee Chairman (2013)

Representatives Nolan Mettetal, Universities and Colleges Committee Chairman, Jeff Smith, Ways and Means Committee Chairman (2011), Donnie Bell, Workforce Development Committee Chairman (2011), Jason White, Rules Committee Chairman (2012), Randall Patterson, Investigate State Offices Committee Chairman (2014), and Jody Steverson, Public Utilities Committee Vice-Chairman (2015).

Anonymous said...

This really isn't that complicated.

Anonymous said...

It's certainly not complicated for 10:52 am who doesn't care what positions on recent issues any of the candidates hold. He doesn't care if any of the candidates have any creative solutions to offer. He doesn't care if some of them are a lot smarter than their opponents or can write well enough to actually write or edit laws or if they can understand what language in a bill is geared to a special interest.

Anonymous said...

(thanks to Bill Crawford for compiling this list)


Anonymous said...

I’m voting for Danny Bedwell the best candidate.

bill said...

10:21, no. The winner in the special election must get 50% of the vote plus 1 vote to win outright. Otherwise there will be a runoff between the top two finishers.

Anonymous said...

I am really, really glad to see the exceptionally smart and up to date folks in MS that already know all about what Salter has written. So far, less than a half dozen but they act like because they know then everyone just MUST know.

While I admit it is very easy to understand that if the average JJ reader, particularly those that take joy in trying to deride whatever Sid writes in his columns, do actually understand this then certainly it could be expected that everybody knows this information. After all, if these dumbbutts that like to bitch know - certainly the reasonably smart ones understand.

But let me assure you - having been dealing with this up close and personal for the past several weeks - many, many folks are confused by the two Senate elections this year. Some trying to keep straight which candidates are on the ballot next month, others trying to figure out who is running against who.

I even heard a radio personality the other day, on the air (someone that these same JJ folks often quote and love to love) be confused wondering how McDaniel could be running again this year when he ran last time. Asked how he could do that when it was "two different districts". That's right - didn't comprehend that Senators ran statewide, and not in districts.

Yes, Virginia, many people are not quite as smart as you and don't totally understand the difference between a primary, a special election, and a general election. Hell, even above, some are asking the question about the special and whether the one that gets the most votes wins (the fact for a general election) but not sure about the special where it does take a majority, with the probability of a runoff.

So, if you already know - don't brag thinking you are smart. And if you didn't understand, read the column and be glad someone took the time to explain it.

Anonymous said...

12:43 - Your entire post is full of irrelevant minutia. We're talking here about Hyde-Smith who never did anything other than vote democrat. Matters not when or that she switched. What has she ever done to qualify as a conservative? Provide your list.

Anonymous said...

sid sure does have a low opinion of his fellow Mississippi citizens

Anonymous said...

99% of Mississippi doesn't read Salter's columns.

Anonymous said...

Link for 1:39 p.m.

Anonymous said...

Not even our own Secretary of State, nor his hired hands, fully understand the election laws of this state, nor do they fully understand the federal election details. Call them and ask the same question to two, different responders. See what happens.

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If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

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