More than U.S. Senate race on Tuesday’s runoff ballot

Published 7:34 pm Saturday, November 24, 2018

Besides a critical U.S. Senate race, Warren County voters will also help decide two state races on Tuesday’s runoff ballot.

Deborah McDonald of Fayette led the race in the District 2 Court of Appeals, which stretches through 24 counties from Tunica to Jefferson and includes Warren County. She will face runner-up Eric Hawkins of Greenville. McDonald cites experience as a municipal court judge and lawyer for governments, while Hawkins has been a prosecutor in Greenville.

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The appeals court hears cases assigned by the state Supreme Court. The winner, who is replacing retiring judge Tyree Irving, will get an eight-year term on the 10-member court.

Meanwhile, voters in the Moose, Goodrum and Yokena precincts will help decide the Mississippi House District 85 seat.

JoAnn Collins-Smith and Jeffery Harness emerged from a group of four candidates in the special District 85 race that includes parts of Claiborne, Franklin, Jefferson and Warren counties. The winner will succeed Democrat America “Chuck” Middleton, who was elected in 1995 and resigned in late August, and fill the final year of a four-year term.

The race that has drawn the most attention is the only unresolved U.S. Senate race in the nation when Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith faces Democrat Mike Espy.

Hyde-Smith was appointed to serve temporarily when Republican Sen. Thad Cochran retired in April. The runoff winner in the special election gets the final two years of the term.

The hard-fought U.S. Senate race has been contentious over the last few weeks.

Absentee voting brisk

More than 43,000 absentee ballots have been requested ahead of the runoff election.

The secretary of state’s office says Saturday that the number could increase as circuit clerks continue compiling information. The total includes absentee ballots that were requested by mail and absentee ballots that were cast at circuit clerks’ offices. Saturday was the deadline for in-person absentee voting, and people waited in line at some courthouses, including Hinds County.

About 69,000 absentee ballots were requested before Mississippi’s Nov. 6 election. There’s typically a large decrease in ballots cast between the first election and a runoff.

Polls open at 7 a.m. Tuesday and will close at 7 p.m.

The Associated Press contributed to this article