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Mississippi Elections: Republicans to...

Mississippi Elections: Republicans to grow super-majority in House 

By: Brett Kittredge - February 21, 2023

Mississippi Republicans on track to pick up two to three seats in State House, growing already dominant super-majority.

All 122 seats in the Mississippi State House will be on the ballot this year. There just won’t be much competition by the time we get to the November 7 general election.

Republicans currently hold a 77-42 majority in the chamber, with three independents.

Here is a look at where things stand post-qualifying deadline. 

Most races for House seats are without serious contests. Republicans do not face a Democrat in seventy-four races. With due respect to third party and independent candidates, the GOP is a virtual lock to win seventy-three of those seats.

The one potential exception is District 64. Rep. Shanda Yates was elected as a Democrat in 2019, defeating longtime Republican Rep. Bill Denny. She left the Democratic Party last session, and is running as an independent this cycle. Amile Wilson is running as a Republican for the seat. Yates has proven she can win the district with a “D” next to her name. The intrigue will be how she competes with an “I” next to her name. In many ways, she has proven that the independent moniker is fitting in her first term in office, often aligning with Republicans on economic issues and with Democrats on social issues.

There are only four races in which Republican incumbents have drawn Democratic challengers. Reps. Sam Mims (HD 97), Carolyn Crawford (HD 121), Jeff Hale (HD 24) and Bill Kinkade (HD 52), will face Democrats Thompson Benton (HD 97), John Dedeaux (HD 121), David Olds/Sandy Kerr (HD 24) and Dianne Black (HD 52). With Speaker Philip Gunn retiring from the Legislature, HD 56 became an open seat. After rumors of a crowded Republican field to replace Gunn, only Clay Mansell qualified as a Republican. He drew as a Democratic challenger Sharon Moman. The race to replace outgoing Rep. Dana Criswell also drew both Republican and Democratic candidates, with Justin Keen and Jimmy Wallace qualifying as Republicans and Jarvis Cook qualifying as a Democrat. In each of these races, the expectation is that the Republican will prevail.

Additionally, Republicans will pick up at least two seats previously held by Democrats. Long-time Democratic Rep. Tommy Reynolds is not seeking re-election. His district, District 33, was moved from the Delta to Harrison County as a part of redistricting. Three Republicans and no Democrats have qualified. Celeste Hurst will capture District 75 for Republicans. Held by Democrat Rep. Tom Miles for three terms, he opted against a tough re-election.

The biggest challenge to Republicans will be other Republicans. There are thirty-two (32) contested Republican primaries in the House.

Democrats do not have a Republican opponent in 39 races. But even when they do, much like the Republicans, the incumbent party should be fine. One notable Democratic seat is HD 57, currently held by Ed Blackmon. Blackmon qualified, but so did his son Lawrence. This is a similar setup to what occurred in the Mississippi Senate, where Barbara Blackmon (Ed’s wife) and their son Bradford qualified. One can only surmise that the parents will withdraw from these races having handed off their seats to their children. It’s the kind of thing that would normally draw some attention.

Finally, I mentioned one independent in Shanda Yates above, but there is another. Rep. Angela Cockerham opted to run as an independent four years ago rather than facing a Democratic challenger in the primary. Like Yates, Cockerham is close to the Republican leadership, naturally irritating some Democrats. She won re-election as an independent, and this year, she didn’t even draw an opponent. 

Tallying it up, Republicans are likely to finish with 79 seats. A win by Wilson in District 64 would push that number to 80.

DistrictDemocratRepublicanIndependent/ Third PartyRating
HD1Bubba Carpenter; Corrie LintonSafe R
HD2Nick Bain; Chris Wilson; Brad MattoxSafe R
HD3Tracy Arnold; Sergio WarrenSafe R
HD4Jody SteversonDonald ScottSafe R
HD5John FaulknerSafe D
HD6Jarvis CookJustin Keen; Jimmy WallaceAmos ThompsonSafe R
HD7Kim Remak; Progeorlan Walker; Jamey GoodkindSafe R
HD8Trey LamarSafe R
HD9Cedric BurnettSafe D
HD10Brady Williamson; Josh Hawkins; Lofton GraySafe R
HD11Lataisha JacksonSafe D
HD12Clay DeweeseSafe R
HD13Steve MassengillSafe R
HD14Sam Creekmore Safe R
HD15Beth WaldoSafe R
HD16Rickey ThompsonSafe D
HD17Shane AguirreSafe R
HD18Jerry TurnerSafe R
HD19Randy BoydSafe R
HD20Rodney Hall; Charlie HootsSafe R
HD21Donnie BellSafe R
HD22Jon LancasterSafe R
HD23Andy Stepp; Jack Willis; Perry BaileyAndy ClarkSafe R
HD24David Olds; Sandy KerrJeff HaleSafe R
HD25Dan EubanksSafe R
HD26Orlando PadenSafe D
HD27Kenneth Walker; James Woods; Tonya WilderSafe D
HD28Doc Harris; John WilliamsSafe R
HD29Robert SandersSafe D
HD30Tracey Rosebud; Sedrick SmithSafe D
HD31Otis AnthonySafe D
HD32Soloman OsborneSafe D
HD33Dennis Nowell; Jim Estrada; Jonathan DantzlerSafe R
HD34Kevin HoranSafe R
HD35Joey HoodSafe R
HD36Karl Gibbs; Terell HarrisSafe D
HD37Andy BoydSafe R
HD38Cheikh TaylorSafe D
HD39Dana McLeanSafe R
HD40Hester JacksonCharlie Roberts; Jacob HisawLikely D
HD41Kabir KarrienClaude SimpsonSafe D
HD42Carl MickensShantell StevensSafe D
HD43Rob Roberson; Kenneth AasandSafe R
HD44Scott Bounds; Justin JamesPhillip PopeSafe R
HD45Kenny Rush; Lindsey Kidd; Keith JacksonTrent RicklesSafe D
HD46Karl Oliver; Bill DownsSafe R
HD47Bryant ClarkSafe D
HD48Jason White; Cliff HaysSafe R
HD49Willie BaileyStacey SmithSafe D
HD50John HinesSafe D
HD51Rufus Straughter; Larry BradfordSafe D
HD52Dianne BlackBill KinkadeSafe R
HD53Vince MangoldSafe R
HD54Kevin FordSafe R
HD55Oscar DentonSafe D
HD56Sharon MomanClay MansellSafe R
HD57Ed Blackmon; Lawrence BlackmonSafe D
HD58Bob Anderson; Jonathan McMillanSafe R
HD59Brent PowellSafe R
HD60Fred ShanksSafe R
HD61Gene NewmanSafe R
HD62Jeremy Lee; Lance VarnerSafe R
HD63Stephanie Foster; Dyamone WhiteSafe D
HD64Amile WilsonShanda YatesToss Up
HD65Chris BellSafe D
HD66Roshunda Harris; Fabian Nelson; Gregg DivinitySafe D
HD67Earle BanksSafe D
HD68Zakiya SummersSafe D
HD69Tamarra ButlerSafe D
HD70William BrownSafe D
HD71Ronnie CrudupSafe D
HD72Justis Gibbs; Synarus Green; Rukia Lumumba; Aliean StingleySafe D
HD73Jill FordSafe R
HD74Lee YancySafe R
HD75Celeste HurstRyshonda BeechemSafe R
HD76Greg HollowayRickey SmylieSafe D
HD77Price WallaceSafe R
HD78Randy RushingSafe R
HD79Mark Tullos; Kyle CockrellSafe R
HD80Omeria ScottSafe D
HD81Steve Horne; Ben ShirleySafe R
HD82Charles YoungSafe D
HD83Billy CalvertSafe R
HD84Troy SmithSafe R
HD85Jeffery Harness; Richard BufordMichael LongneckerSafe D
HD86Shane BarnettSafe R
HD87Joseph Tubb; Kim FaganSafe R
HD88Buck Torske; Chuck Blackwell; Thommy Parker; Christopher HodgeSafe R
HD89Donnie ScogginSafe R
HD90Noah SanfordSafe R
HD91Bob EvansSafe D
HD92Becky CurrieSafe R
HD93Timmy LadnerSafe R
HD94Robert JohnsonSafe D
HD95Jay McKnight; John BarnesSafe R
HD96Angela CockerhamSafe I
HD97Thompson BentonSam MimsSafe R
HD98Daryl Porter; Lance BrownSafe D
HD99Bill PigottSafe R
HD100Ken Morgan; Jacob BroganSafe R
HD101Kent McCartySafe R
HD102Missy McGeeSafe R
HD103Percy WatsonSafe D
HD104Larry Byrd; Blake NoblesSafe R
HD105Dale Goodin; Elliot Burch; Matt BrewerSafe R
HD106Jansen OwenSafe R
HD107Doug McLeod; Steve LottSafe R
HD108Stacey Wilkes; Alana Campo; Bill CruseSafe R
HD109Manly BartonSafe R
HD110Jeramey Anderson; Shira StallworthSafe D
HD111Eric Camp; Jimmy Fondren; David FutchSafe R
HD112John Read; Tim AycockSafe R
HD113Hank ZuberSafe R
HD114Jeff GuiceCasey WhiteheadSafe R
HD115Feliz Gines; Phil Harding; Zachary GradySafe R
HD116Casey EureSafe R
HD117Kevin FelsherMark SimmonsSafe R
HD118Greg Haney; Raymond BrooksSafe R
HD119Jeffery HulumSafe D
HD120Richard BennettCameron RobersonSafe R
HD121John DedeauxCarolyn Crawford; Jeff WallaceSafe R
HD122Brent Anderson; Micah TinklerBrice PhillipsSafe R
About the Author(s)
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Brett Kittredge

Brett Kittredge is a regular contributor to Magnolia Tribune offering commentary on elections and state government. He brings more than a decade of experience in Mississippi policy, politics, and elections. He served as editor of the public policy solutions guide, The High Road to Freedom, made contributions to Promoting Prosperity in Mississippi, a publication of the Institute of Market Studies at Mississippi State University, and has garnered innumerable state and national placements, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, National Review, Washington Examiner, and Reason, among others.
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