Baria, Sherman will meet in runoff for opportunity to take on Wicker

Published 7:13 pm Wednesday, June 6, 2018

David Baria and Howard Sherman will face off in a runoff June 26 for the right to challenge Roger Wicker who has served in the United States Senate since 2007.

Baria and Sherman rose to the top from a field of six Democrats in Tuesday’s primary election, but neither received more than 50 percent of the vote setting up a runoff in three weeks.

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Wicker easily defeated his lone challenger, Richard Boyanton, and will be the Republican candidate in November when both of Mississippi’s senate seats will be up for election following the retirement of Thad Cochran earlier this year.

In Warren County, Wicker received 1,955 votes, 90.55 percent, and Boyanton received 203, 9.4 percent. Statewide, Wicker received 128,309 votes, 83 percent, and Boyanton received 26,713, 17 percent.

“It does seem based on statements coming from the various Democratic campaigns that opposition to the Trump agenda will be front and center in their emphasis. I don’t think that sounds like a winner in Mississippi,” Wicker said in a statement to the Associated Press.

The Democratic primary proved to be a three-person race between Baria, Sherman and state representative Omeria Scott with the other three challengers finishing well behind.

In Warren County, Sherman and Scott were the top two vote getters, but statewide Baria received more votes than Scott setting up a runoff between him and Sherman. Warren County voters cast 566 votes, 34.51 percent, for Sherman, 518 votes, 31.59 percent, for Scott and 382 votes, 23.29 percent, for Baria. No other candidate received more than 80 votes.

In the statewide election, Sherman finished with the most votes with 27,358, 32 percent. Sherman currently lives near Meridian after previously living in Los Angeles along with his wife, actress Sela Ward.

“All I had was a new way, a plan, accountability and a new Mississippi, and that’s what people responded to,” Sherman said.

Baria finished second with 26,568 votes, 31 percent. Baria, who lives in Bay St. Louis, currently serves in the state House of Representative after previously serving in the state Senate.

“The race now will be between a Mississippi Democrat and a California Republican,” Baria said in a statement to the AP Tuesday night. “I’m ready for that race and I look forward to three more weeks of talking to the Mississippians I grew up with and have lived and worked with all my life.”

Scott finished with 20,642 votes, 24 percent.

A Democrat has not represented Mississippi in the U.S. Senate since 1989.

The Associated Press contributed to this report