Election 2011 – Legislative Races in Mississippi (State Senate)
Primary – August 2, 2011
In 2003, Republicans took control of this chamber for the first time since Reconstruction. Since then, the chamber has been split, with an electoral reclamation by Democrats in 2008, only to be undone by party switching to the Republican party.
18 Republican incumbents face no opposition while 11 Democrats are also receiving a free pass in November. This means that the majority control will come down to the 23 contested races. Below are profiles of the most competitive ones. The D or R in parentheses indicates which party held control in the previous legislative body.
A note on redistricting in Mississippi. Due to legislative choices as well as Mississippi being one of the states that must submit its redistricting plans to the federal government to ensure racial equity, this will not occur before the 2011 elections. Therefore, the maps will stay the same for voters in this election only to change for the 2013 legislative elections.
8th State Senate District of Mississippi (D)
The one vacancy in the State Senate results from the death of Democratic senator Jack Gordon in May. The district includes parts of Calhoun, Chickasaw, Grenada and Lee counties. The special election will be on the ballot in concurrence with the regularly scheduled general election in November and the winner will serve out the rest of the term until the end of 2011.
Four Democrats are running in the primary as well as two Republicans.
Sherman Carouthers – A managing partner in Comer Capital Group, a Mississippi based financial advisory firm. He lives in Okolona.
The Republican race remains too close to call after the primary
10th State Senate District of Mississippi (R)
This is a strange race – incumbent Nolan Mettetal was elected as a Democrat, switched to being a Republican and has decided not to run for the State Senate race, opting instead to run for the State House in District 10. Democrats will be especially anxious to reclaim this seat for their party.
Four Democrats are squaring off and they will face Republican Vann Branch, a local business owner in Panola County, in November. The Democrats are:
Steve Hale – Former mayor of Senatobia and current Tate County Planning Commissioner.
Dennis Dye –
Michael Cathey –
Mona Pittman – A Batesville attorney and Secretary for the MS State Democratic Party
20th State Senate District of Mississippi (R)
Whomever wins the Republican primary for this seat will be part of the next legislature as no Democrat filed. The race is to replace Lee Yancy who is running to be State Treasurer of Mississippi.
The four Republicans running are:
Tony Bahou – A former TV sports anchor who works for local non-profits
Steve Gaines – Former Special Agent, Office of Inspector General – Investigations
Josh Harkins – A real estate broker in Flowood (Runoff)
Knox Ross – Mayor of Pelahatchie (Runoff)
25th State Senate District of Mississippi (R)
Republican incumbent Walter Michel is not running for reelection after sticking to a pledge to only serve 10 years. Three Republicans are vying to keep the seat for their party, Charles Barbour,
Sean Corcoran and attorney William Longwitz. You may recognize the last name of the first listed candidate and indeed Barbour is the nephew of the current governor, Haley. Needless it will be difficult for the other two candidates to best the well funded and connected scion and even more so for Democrat Cecilia Sampayo in the general.
Charles Barbour and William Longwitz will appear in a runoff as no candidate got above 50% on August 2.
46th State Senate District of Mississippi (D )
In another case of Senators actively seeking a demotion to the House of Reps., incumbent David Baria is running for an open House seat instead of facing a very competitive reelection campaign. This leaves Democratic chances to Joe Bye.
Four Republicans are running in the primary to face the Democratic opponent – real estate agent Brian Cuevas (from what I can tell, of no relation to the previous office older, Republican Senator Scotty Cuevas who Baria defeated – correct me if I am wrong), engineering company representative Mickey Lagasse, former Hancock County supervisor Philip Moran, and National Guard veteran Fred Sullivan. James Overstreet of the Constitution Party is also running.
Mickey Lagasse and Philip M0ran will be in a runoff after no Republican crossed the 50% mark.