Baria defeats Sherman for Democratic U.S. Senate nomination

Published 8:37 pm Tuesday, June 26, 2018

State House minority leader David Baria defeated venture capitalist Howard Sherman in Tuesday’s Mississippi Democratic U.S. Senate primary runoff.

Baria will challenge Republican incumbent U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker and two other candidates in November’s general election.

Baria, who finished third in Warren County behind Sherman and fellow legislator Omeria Scott in the Democratic primary earlier this month, garnered 861 votes in Tuesday’s runoff, while Sherman, who took Warren County June 5, finished with 542 votes — 24 less than he had in his primary win. The results do not include six affidavit ballots.

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The difference proved to be Scott’s voters choosing Baria. Scott, who endorsed Sherman after her loss, had 518 Warren County votes in the primary, while Baria had just 382.

Baria of Bay St. Louis emphasized his Democratic service and promised to champion party priorities. Sherman, the husband of actress Sela Ward, has faced criticism for voting Republican when he lived in California and giving money to Republicans including Wicker. The Meridian resident emphasized his business experience and promised fresh approaches to Mississippi’s problems.

Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann said turnout was “exceptionally” low throughout the state.

Meanwhile, a Mississippi district attorney won the Republican nomination for an open congressional seat.

Michael Guest, the chief prosecutor in the Jackson suburbs of Madison and Rankin counties, beat former state development executive Whit Hughes Tuesday in the GOP runoff for the 3rd Congressional District previously held by Gregg Harper, a fellow Rankin County Republican who is retiring.

Guest will face state Rep. Michael Ted Evans of Preston and Reform Party member Matthew Holland in November.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.