2011 Mississippi primaries: State Treasurer, Agriculture Commissioner and Public Service Commission
By Greg Janetka
JACKSON, Mississippi: Primaries will be held tomorrow for three down ballot state executive positions in Mississippi, with polls opening at 7:00 am CDT. Two positions - Auditor and Commissioner of Insurance - will not see primaries as multiple candidates did not file for their party’s nomination. Here is an overview of the primary races. The General election will be held on November 8, 2011.
Current Mississippi State Treasurer Tate Reeves (R) is running for Lieutenant Governor in 2011, effectively opening up the field for Republicans. Reeves has held the position since being first elected in 2003. The Republican primary will be a three-way race:
- Executive Director of the Mississippi State Personnel Board Lynn Fitch
- Adjunct Professor of Law at Mississippi College Lucien Smith
- Current Mississippi state Senator Lee Yancey
The Clarion-Ledger endorsed Fitch, citing his experience and qualifications.
Y’all Politics predicted Smith would lead in votes, but that a runoff between one of the other two candidates would be necessary. If that occurs, the runoff would take place August 23.
Democrat Connie Moran does not face a primary challenger. Shawn O'Hara had filed to run on the Democratic ticket, but was refused by the state Democratic Party executive committee as he is already a Reform Party candidate for governor. According to state law a candidate can only run for one office at a time. O'Hara appealed the decision to the Mississippi Supreme Court but they refused to hear the request. Jon McCarty is running on the Reform Party ticket.
State Executive Official elections
| Kentucky • Louisiana |
Mississippi • West Virginia
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Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce
- state Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith
- state Representative Dannie Reed
- Max Phillips, a cattle farmer who has previously run for the position
The Clarion-Ledger endorsed Phillips, while Hyde-Smith received the endorsement of Lester Spell and current Alabama Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries John McMillan.
Y’all Politics predicted a close race between Phillips and Hyde-Smith, with Phillips winning.
Public Service Commission
The Mississippi Public Service Commission consists of three members. All three positions will have primary elections.
Two Republicans are seeking their party's nomination:
- Executive/Co-owner of BankTEL Systems Boyce Adams
- Tea Party of Mississippi founding member Marvin Cox
Adams was endorsed by the Greenwood Commonwealth.
Incumbent Republican Lynn Posey is unopposed for his party's nomination. Charles Barbour was slated to run but instead decided to run in Senate district 25. Posey was originally elected in 2007 as a Democrat, having only recently switched parties in December 2010.
Two Democrats will face off for the party nomination:
Danny Ayers is running as an Independent.
The Southern District is the only one that will have primaries for both parties.
|Mississippi Public Service Commission, Southern District (2007)|
|Leonard Bentz (R)||139,124||55.90%|
|Mike Collier (D)||109,737||44.10%|
- Mississippi down ballot state executive elections, 2011
- State executive official elections, 2011
- Mississippi gubernatorial election, 2011
- Mississippi lieutenant gubernatorial election, 2011
- Mississippi secretary of state election, 2011
- Mississippi attorney general election, 2011
- Clarion Ledger, “Treasurer: Fitch is best GOP choice,” July 28, 2011
- Y’all Politics, “Predictions for the 2011 primaries,” July 25, 2011
- The Republic, "Miss. Supreme Court won't hear O'Hara's request to run for 2 offices in 2011 Miss. election," July 29, 2011
- Clarion Ledger, “Ag commissioner: Phillips best choice,” July 27, 2011
- Majority in Mississippi, “Friday Afternoon Election Notebook,” July 29, 2011
- Y’all Politics, “Greenwood Commonwealth Endorses Boyce Adams for PSC,” July 28, 2011
- Mississippi Secretary of State, "November 2007 General Election Results," accessed July 10, 2011