Wicker defeats challenger; Democratic primary still undecided

Published 8:27 pm Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Republican U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi has won his party’s primary, months after being endorsed by President Donald Trump.

Mississippi is heavily Republican; it last had a Democrat in the Senate in 1989, when John C. Stennis retired.

Wicker served nearly 13 years in the U.S. House before then-Gov. Haley Barbour appointed him to the Senate when fellow Republican Trent Lott resigned.

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Very few Warren County ballots were cast in Tuesday’s primary election as voters went to the polls at the 23 Warren County precincts to vote in a primary election that pitted six Democrats trying to win the nomination to face Wicker in the November general election.

“Very slow. Voter turnout is very slow; it is not what we had hoped,” Jan Daigre, Warren County’s Circuit Clerk, said. “You always worry about the primaries because there are only a few things on the ballot so generally the voter turnout is a little bit less.”

This was the first election since the Warren Board of Supervisors approved changing four of the precincts after the Vicksburg Warren School District raised concerns about schools being used for voting. Daigre said they had, “a couple of phone calls, less than probably five,” from people asking questions about the new precincts.

Like the majority of Mississippi, Wicker easily defeated challenger Richard Boyanton in Warren County, garnering 1,955 votes to 203.

On the Democratic Primary ballot, Howard Sherman – the husband of Mississippi native and actress Sela Ward – won Warren County with 566 votes, while state representative Omeria Scott of Laurel received 518  votes. State representative David Baria of Hancock County finished with 382 votes, while Victor Maurice received 80, Jerone Garland 44 and Jensen Bohren 46.

Statewide results with 90 percent of precincts reporting showed Sherman with 25,914 votes (32 percent) and Baria with 25,301 (31 percent). Scott was third with 19,436 (24 percent) setting up a runoff between Sherman and Baria June 26 to determine who will face Wicker in November, 

The Associated Press contributed to this article.