The Latest: Many incumbent lawmakers clear path to new terms

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – The latest on Mississippi primary elections (all times local):

10:54 p.m.

A number of incumbent Republican lawmakers have cleared the path to additional terms in the state House and Senate by winning their primaries.

In each case, incumbents faced no opposition Tuesday from another party nominee or independent, meaning they will hold their seats for four more years.

Among House Republicans moving toward another term were Jeff Guice of Ocean Springs, Greg Haney of Gulfport, Joey Hood of Ackerman, John Moore of Brandon, Ken Morgan of Morgantown and John Read of Gautier. In the state Senate, Sean Tindell of Gulfport and Will Longwitz of Madison each turned back tea party-backed challengers, while tea party favorite Michael Watson of Pascagoula beat back an upset bid by a more establishment Republican.

Before Tuesday, 24 House Republican incumbents were already unopposed, as were nine Senate Republicans.

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10:41 p.m.

In the only legislative race where two Senate incumbents ran against each other, Bill Stone of Holly Springs has won a Democratic primary against Steve Hale of Senatobia.

Stone moved into Hale’s district after the Republican-dominated Legislature redrew district lines to make his old district much less favorable. Though Hale tried to have him disqualified saying Stone hadn’t met residency requirements, the state Supreme Court disagreed, saying he could run.

No Republican or independent is running in Senate District 10, so Stone will hold the seat the next four years.

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10:17 p.m.

Software company founder Joel Bomgar has won a closely watched House race in Madison County.

Bomgar defeated Bruce Bartley in the Republican primary in a district centered in the eastern part of the city of Madison. Because there are no other candidates on the general election ballot, Bomgar will win election to the House for his first term. He replaces Rep. Rita Martinson, who retired.

Bomgar ran an expensive and long-lasting campaign. He is a prominent supporter of charter schools and education vouchers, supporting the Empower Mississippi group. A number of House challengers backed by that group were leading races in DeSoto County Tuesday, although two challengers in Rankin County were losing.

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9:54 p.m.

Brent Bailey of Canton has won the Republican nomination to the Central District seat on the Public Service Commission, beating Hinds County Supervisor Tony Greer of Clinton.

Bailey is the state leader for 25 x ’25, a group seeking more energy efficiency and alternative power sources. Before that, he worked for the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation, and showed strength in rural areas Tuesday.

Greer served four terms as a Clinton alderman before winning election

Outgoing Democratic state Rep. Cecil Brown beat fellow Jackson resident and lawyer Bruce Burton Tuesday for the Central District Democratic nomination.

Debate over how much customers should pay for Mississippi Power Co.’s $6.2 billion Kemper County power plant dominated the race.

Bailey and Brown will face Reform Party candidate LaTrice D. Notree of Pearl on Nov. 3.

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9:38 p.m.

Democrat Cecil Brown of Jackson has won his party’s nomination to the Central District seat on the Public Service Commission.

Brown, who has served four terms in the state House as a Democrat, defeated lawyer Bruce Burton of Jackson Tuesday in the Democratic primary for one of three seats on the utility regulatory body. Burton ran unsuccessfully for the seat in 2011.

Hinds County Supervisor Tony Greer of Clinton and solar energy advocate Brent Bailey of Canton were competing Tuesday in the Central District Republican primary.

Debate over how much customers should pay for Mississippi Power Co.’s $6.2 billion Kemper County power plant dominated the race.

The winners of both primaries will face Reform Party candidate LaTrice D. Notree of Pearl on the Nov. 3 general election ballot.

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9:36 p.m.

First-term Mississippi Treasurer Lynn Fitch has held off a Republican primary challenge from a candidate who spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on his own campaign.

Fitch defeated David McRae of Ridgeland, a fellow attorney who used to work in her office. He is part of the family that founded the former McRae’s department store.

Fitch, who lives in Madison, says she has been a good steward of Mississippi’s public finances. McRae had criticized her for temporarily closing enrollment in a state-sponsored college savings program.

No Democrat is running for treasurer this year.

The only other candidate on the November ballot is the Reform Party’s Viola V. McFarland of Hattiesburg.

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9:25 p.m.

Incumbent Transportation Commissioner Mike Tagert of Starkville has won the Republican nomination for the Northern District seat on Mississippi’s Transportation Commission.

He defeated civil engineer and former water management district director Jimmie Mills of Tupelo.

Tagert ran unsuccessfully for Congress in a special election earlier this year to replace the late Rep. Alan Nunnelee. He missed the runoff in the race, in which Republican Trent Kelly beat Democrat Walter Zinn.

The incumbent has been cautiously supportive of more state funding to maintain Mississippi’s roads and bridges. Estimates show Mississippi has a roughly $400 million-a-year shortfall in the amount needed to maintain current assets. Mills opposed higher taxes, saying he believed the Transportation Department remained inefficient.

Tagert will face Democrat Danny Woods of Winona in the Nov. 3 general election.

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9:01 p.m.

Two-term incumbent Stacey Pickering has won the Republican primary for state auditor, defeating longtime Madison Mayor Mary Hawkins Butler.

Heading into Tuesday’s primary, Butler had sharply criticized Pickering for spending campaign money on what she described as personal expenses such as travel, vehicles and a garage door. Pickering said his spending was aboveboard.

Jocelyn Pritchett, an engineer from Jackson, was unopposed for the Democratic nomination.

The Reform Party’s Lajena Walley of Hattiesburg also will be on the November ballot for auditor.

Pickering has $81,905 in his campaign fund, Pritchett has $12,221 and Walley has no campaign cash.

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8:38 p.m.

Second-term incumbent Mike Chaney of Vicksburg has won the Republican nomination for insurance commissioner.

He held off a challenge Tuesday from John Mosley, a body shop owner from Clinton. Mosley campaigned, in part, by saying insurance companies have gotten away with paying for less-than-perfect replacement parts to repair damaged vehicles.

Chaney supporters criticized Mosley for hiring a Democratic trial lawyer in 2013 to sue insurance companies over replacement parts.

No Democrat is running for insurance commissioner this year.

The Reform Party’s Johnny McLeod of Hattiesburg will be on the November ballot.

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8:28 p.m.

Former state Sen. Tim Johnson of Madison has won the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor, and faces Republican incumbent Tate Reeves in November.

Johnson on Tuesday defeated Jelani Barr, a bookkeeper from Greenwood.

Reeves defeated Alisha Nelson McElhenney, a first-time candidate who lives in Moss Point and teaches at a high school in Alabama. She ran a low-budget campaign focused on eliminating the Common Core academic standards in Mississippi schools.

Reeves has more than $3.1 million in his campaign fund, and Johnson has $54,566.

Libertarian Ron Williams and the Reform Party’s Rosa B. Williams will also be on the general election ballot for lieutenant governor. Each reports having an empty campaign fund.

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8:05 p.m.

First-term Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves of Flowood has defeated his only Republican primary challenger.

Alisha Nelson McElhenney lives in Moss Point and teaches at a high school in Alabama. She ran a low-budget campaign focused on eliminating the Common Core academic standards in Mississippi schools.

Former state Sen. Tim Johnson of Madison and Jelani Barr, a bookkeeper from Greenwood, were competing Tuesday in the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor.

Libertarian Ron Williams and the Reform Party’s Rosa B. Williams will also be on the general election ballot for lieutenant governor.

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7:55 p.m.

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant of Jackson has won the Republican nomination for a second term.

Bryant on Tuesday easily defeated Mitch Young, a Navy veteran from Sumrall who ran a low-budget campaign.

Three candidates were competing in the Democratic primary for governor: attorney Vicki Slater of Madison; Dr. Valerie Adream Smartt Short, an obstetrician-gynecologist from Ridgeland; and truck driver Robert Gray of Jackson.

The Nov. 3 ballot for governor will also include the Reform Party’s Shawn O’Hara.

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7 p.m.

Polls have closed in Mississippi’s primaries for governor and other state and local races.

People still standing in line at 7 p.m. CDT were being allowed to vote.

Voters were choosing Democratic and Republican nominees for governor and lieutenant governor. They also were choosing nominees in several local races, including for sheriff, county supervisor and, in some places, superintendent of education.

There was only a Republican primary in three statewide races: for state treasurer, auditor and insurance commissioner.

If runoffs are needed, they will be Aug. 25. The general election is Nov. 3.

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4 p.m.

Mississippi elections officials are reporting long lines at some precincts and sparse turnout in others for state and local primaries.

Voters in Tuesday’s election were choosing Democratic and Republican nominees for governor and lieutenant governor. They also were voting in several local races, including for sheriff, county supervisor and, in some places, superintendent of education.

There was only a Republican primary in three statewide races: for state treasurer, auditor and insurance commissioner.

Danny Glaskox is the election commission chairman in coastal Jackson County. He described turnout as “mediocre” by midafternoon Tuesday.

In central Mississippi’s Rankin County, election commissioner Eric Baldwin also said turnout was low.

Polls close at 7 p.m.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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