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Who’s on the ballot in...

Who’s on the ballot in Mississippi’s Primary Elections?

By: Frank Corder - March 8, 2024

  • Before you head to the polls on Tuesday, March 12, do your homework on who you’ll be asked to consider voting for in the Magnolia State.

Mississippians will head to the polls on Tuesday, March 12th to cast their ballot in either the Republican and Democratic Party Primary Election, choosing their party’s nominees for President, U.S. Senator, and Congressman.

At the top of the ticket, party faithful will decide their nominee for President of the United States.

For Democrats, there is only one name on the ballot – incumbent President Joe Biden.

On the Republican side, four names will appear but only one is actually left in the GOP race – former President Donald Trump. Even though Republican candidates Nikki Haley, Ron DeSantis, and Vivek Ramaswamy have suspended their campaigns, the Mississippi Secretary of State’s office reminds voters that the deadline to submit an affidavit to have a candidate’s name stricken from the ballot was before the official sample ballot was published on January 22, leaving their names on the ballot.

“A public announcement withdrawing from the race does not meet this requirement, therefore no candidate’s name has been removed from the ballot,” the Secretary of State notes.

As for the down-ballot races, Mississippi voters will be asked to choose their nominees for U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives.

Incumbent U.S. Senator Roger Wicker is seeking re-election in the Republican Primary. He is being challenged by State Rep. Dan Eubanks and veteran Ghannon Burton. In the Democratic Primary for U.S. Senate, attorney Ty Pinkins is unopposed.

Moving on down the ballot to the U.S. House seats, the following candidates are seeking their party’s nomination on Tuesday:

1st District

  • Republican
    • Congressman Trent Kelly
  • Democratic
    • Dianne Dodson Black
    • Bronco Williams

2nd District

  • Republican
    • Ron Eller
    • Andrew Scott Smith
    • Taylor Turcotte
  • Democratic
    • Congressman Bennie Thompson

3rd District

  • Republican
    • Congressman Michael Guest
  • Democratic
    • No candidate qualified

4th District

  • Republican
    • Congressman Mike Ezell
    • Carl Boyanton
    • Michael McGill
  • Democratic
    • Craig Elliot Raybon

Expected voter turnout a toss up

Voter turnout projections for Tuesday’s Republican and Democratic Primaries are a toss-up as both parties’ leading candidates – Donald Trump and Joe Biden – have all but secured the nomination, setting up a rematch four years in the making. How this will play into the minds of Mississippi voters remains to be seen.

The 2016 presidential election cycle in Mississippi saw 416,000 votes cast in the Republican Primary and 227,000 votes cast in the Democratic Primary as Trump and Hillary Clinton led their respective parties in the open seat election.

Four years later, in 2020, with Trump as the incumbent Republican President and Biden as the leading Democratic candidate, Mississippi voters cast 243,000 votes in the Republican Primary and 274,000 votes in the Democratic Primary.

Of all of the races down-ballot, low turnout could affect the Republican Primary in the 4th Congressional District the most as freshman Congressman Mike Ezell tries to secure his first bid for re-election since defeating former Congressman Steven Palazzo in a GOP Primary Runoff during the 2022 midterms. However, just as with every incumbent running in this election cycle, Congressman Ezell is the odds-on favorite even if voter turnout is abysmal.

About the Author(s)
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Frank Corder

Frank Corder is a native of Pascagoula. For nearly two decades, he has reported and offered analysis on government, public policy, business and matters of faith. Frank’s interviews, articles, and columns have been shared throughout Mississippi as well as in national publications. He is a frequent guest on radio and television, providing insight and commentary on the inner workings of the Magnolia State. Frank has served his community in both elected and appointed public office, hosted his own local radio and television programs, and managed private businesses all while being an engaged husband and father. Email Frank: