Race was an uphill battle

Published 9:40 pm Thursday, June 7, 2018

Brookhaven’s Sally Doty may have come up short in her efforts to win the 3rd District Republican primary, but she has no reason to hang her head.

Doty was up against forces that made it nearly impossible for her to make the runoff election. The 3rd District is comprised of 24 counties, but two of them make up a huge load of voters. The wealthy areas surrounding Jackson carried a ton of weight in this race, and two candidates have strong connections to the area.

Michael Guest, district attorney for Madison and Rankin counties, was well-known to voters there. And he was able to haul in significantly more cash than Doty. Less name recognition, fewer resources and the fact that she was not from the Jackson area put her at a significant disadvantage. Guest rounded up the most votes and will now face Whit Hughes in a runoff.

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Doty was hoping her legislative career (she was the only Republican with legislative experience) would be enough to overcome those hurdles, but it was barely enough in Lincoln County. While she pulled in 55 percent of the vote here, the other major candidates split off another 43 percent. Those are not the kind of numbers that lead to victory.

Doty recognized that she was at a disadvantage.

“The money the Madison and Rankin candidates were able to pour into the race made them more visible,” she said.

That was obvious in the days leading up to the Tuesday election. There were far more Guest and Hughes signs lining roadways.

But Doty can hold her head high, knowing she still has the opportunity to serve Southwest Mississippi in the state Senate.