Cochran-McDaniel Senate run-off set for Tuesday

Mississippi voters will go back to the polls Tuesday to break the near-deadlock between Republicans Thad Cochran and Chris McDaniel that resulted from the June 3 primary.

Tea Party candidate McDaniel edged out the 36-year incumbent senator by only about 1,400 votes for the entire state – less than a percentage point and not quite enough to avoid the run-off.

Only those two names will be on the ballot Tuesday and the winner will become the Republican Party nominee, to face Democratic nominee and former Prentiss County Chancery Clerk Travis Childers and Reform candidate Shawn O’Hara in the general election Nov. 4.

There will be no Democratic candidates or races to be voted on Tuesday; they also will be on the Nov. 4 ballot.

Cochran served in the U.S. House from 1972 to 1978 when he was elected to the U. S. Senate where he has served since. McDaniel is an attorney who also serves in the Mississippi Legislature.

In Union County, the polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 24, at all 20 precincts. As noted, only those who voted in the June 3 Republican primary or who did not vote at all may participate.

Qualified voters may cast absentee ballots in Circuit Clerk Phyllis Stanford’s office during regular office hours and from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, June 21, which is the deadline. Mail-in ballots can still be received and counted if they are in the clerk’s office by 5 p.m. Monday.

Voters will be required to present any of a variety of approved photo IDs to be allowed to vote, although there is a procedure to allow even those without ID to cast provisional ballots.

The next election after Tuesday will be the Nov. 4 general election, which will include a variety of Democratic, Republican and Third-Party of Independent candidates.

On the ballot will be candidates for circuit court judge, chancery court judge, representative, senator and one county school board seat.

All but one of the nine judicial races are unopposed with incumbents seeking re-election.

The opposed judge’s race is for circuit court, 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 were not on the June 3 ballot because those races were political party primaries and judicial elections, by law, are non-partisan.

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

The only county 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.