Congressional primaries less than two weeks away

Only a week and a half remains before the June 3 primaries to select party nominees for the U. S. House of Representatives and U. S. Senate.

If no single candidate in a race gets more than 50 percent of the vote, the top two vote-getters will face each other in a runoff June 24. Winners of the June 3 and 24 votes will be their respective party nominees, who will appear on the Nov. 4 general election, along with independent and third-party candidates who are not required to go through a primary process.

Runoffs are possible in the Democratic and Republican primaries for senator.

The only race that has drawn any public attention to speak of is the Republican senate primary with long-time incumbent Thad Cochran being challenged by Tea Party candidate Chris McDaniel. McDaniel has been running ads for months while Cochran began actively campaigning comparatively recently, but campaign charges by both sides have picked up considerably.

Voters in Union County will have to decide whether to vote in the Democratic or Republican primary. Anyone who votes in the primary can only vote in that same party’s runoff if one is held, but in the general election may vote for any combination of party or independent candidates.

It is too late to register to vote in the June 3 primary, but those who are qualified may still vote an absentee ballot. Circuit Clerk Phyllis Stanford’s office will be open this Saturday, May 24, from 8 a.m. until noon for the convenience of voters. Her office will be open normal business hours Tuesday through Friday next week and Saturday, May 31, as well, from 8 a.m. to noon.

Noon May 31 is the deadline for casting an absentee ballot in person but properly mailed-in absentee ballots can be received until 5 p.m. Monday, June 2, and still be counted.

One circuit court judge’s race is the only local judicial contest that will be contested; the other two candidates for circuit court judge and the four for chancery court judge are incumbents who are unopposed.

The opposed judge’s race is to replace Robert W. Elliott, who decided not to seek re-election. Local assistant district attorney Kelly Luther qualified for that race and two others, Shirley C. Byers and J. Kizer (Ki) Jones, both attorneys in Holly Springs, qualified shortly before the deadline.

Unopposed incumbents in the chancery court races are John A. Hatcher, District 1 Place 1; Michael Malski, District 1 Place 2; Jacqueline Estes, District 1 Place 3; and Talmadge D. Littlejohn, District 1 Place 4.

The unopposed incumbent circuit court judges are Andrew K. Howorth, District 3 Place 1 and John A. Gregory, District 3 Place 3.

The judicial races will not be on the June 3 ballot because those races are party primaries and judicial elections, by law, are non-partisan.

In the senate race, Cochran will face Realtor Tom Carey as well as McDaniel, who has served as state senator and is an attorney.

On the Democratic side for senator, former Prentiss County Chancery Clerk Travis Childers will go against teacher and past candidate Bill Compton Jr., John Rawl and Bill Marcy. Marcy is a retired police officer, tea party activist, past candidate and former Republican. Some Mississippi Democrats have opposed his being certified to run as a Democrat.

In the U. S. House race, Republican two-term incumbent Alan Nunnelee of Tupelo will not face a primary challenge but will be on the November ballot with Libertarian Danny Bedwell of Columbus and the winner of a Democratic primary between Ron Dickey, a mental health technician, former police officer and Gulf War veteran of Horn Lake, and Rex Weathers, a Navy veteran and past candidate.

The only truly local election Nov. 4 will be for the District Five seat on the Union County School Board of Trustees. Wayne Mahon is the currently serving Fifth District school trustee but the qualifying period for that office is not until Aug. 6 through Sept. 5.

June 3 will mark the first election where a photo ID will be required before a voter can cast a ballot. Most people have some acceptable form of photo ID but if they do not, a special voter photo ID can be obtained by going to Stanford’s office.

 

Below are sample ballots for the two primaries (you must choose Democratic or Republican):

 

STATE OF MISSISSIPPI

UNION COUNTY

2014 Democratic Primary Election

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

 

For United States Senate

Vote for ONE

Travis W. Childers

William Bond Compton Jr.

Bill Marcy

Jonathan Rawl

 

For United States House of Representatives

1st Congressional District

Vote for ONE

Ron E. Dickey

Rex N. Weathers

 

OR

 

STATE OF MISSISSIPPI

UNION COUNTY

2014 Republican Primary Election

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

 

For United States Senate

Vote for ONE

Thomas L. Carey

Thad Cochran

Chris McDaniel

 

For United States House of Representatives

1st Congressional District

Vote for ONE

Alan Nunnelee