Who are you voting for in the General Election?
Published 9:33 am Thursday, November 2, 2023
The 2023 General Election is Tuesday, Nov. 7.
Absentee voting closes Saturday, Nov. 4, at noon. The Circuit Clerk’s Office will be open 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. daily until then, and 8 a.m. until 12 p.m.
As of Wednesday, 192 people had answered a Daily Leader poll asking if they planned to vote. Twenty-eight said they had or would vote absentee, and 146 said they planned to vote on Election Day, showing 91 percent of respondents as planning to vote or having already done so. Seven people said they would not vote because they were not registered voters, and 11 said they did not plan to vote even though they were legally able to do so.
Though some offices on the ballot are unopposed — 10 in Lincoln County and four statewide — and the sole candidate listed for each will win that race by default, some key races will be decided by the people who choose to vote. Those who do not choose to vote will have no say in support of or in opposition to any candidate.
In Lincoln County, the races that are unopposed on the General Election ballot are: Chancery Clerk incumbent Alisha McGehee (R), Circuit Clerk incumbent Dustin R. Bairfield (R), County Surveyor incumbent Joe W. Byrd (R), Tax Assessor and Collector incumbent Blake Pickering (R), District 2 Supervisor Keith Lewis (R), District 4 Supervisor Eli Ferguson (R), District 5 Supervisor incumbent Doug Falvey (R), District 2 Election Commissioner incumbent Janie Hart Haley (R), District 4 Election Commissioner Denise White (R), Post 1 Justice Court Judge incumbent Ian Smith (R), and Post 1 Constable Justin Case (R).
In state-level positions, the four unopposed are: Republican Nelson Wayne Carr as Public Service Commissioner, Southern District; and Lincoln County area Sen. Jason Barrett (R-D39), and Representatives Vince Mangold (D53) and Becky Currie (D92).
The local races
The Lincoln County office with the most competitors is that of sheriff. Republican Steve Rushing is the incumbent, and won the Primary Election. He now faces three independent challengers, all with military or law enforcement experience — former Sheriff’s investigator Leslie Falvey, current Brookhaven Police officer Willie J. “Meeka” Gayten Sr. and Army officer Henry G. “Bub” Simmons Jr.
Each additional county office on the ballot has two vying for its seat. In the race for District Attorney, District 14, assistant district attorney Brendon Adams, a Republican, is facing off against Democrat challenger Patrick Earl Beasley, chief assistant district attorney for the 22nd Circuit Court District. This is primarily considered a state-level office, since District 14 covers portions of Lincoln, Pike and Walthall counties.
The office of county coroner — to be vacated by retiring Clay McMorris — will go to either Republican Blake William Wallace or independent Sherry Bowman Bessonette.
Incumbent Republican Judge Roger Martin is hoping to keep the Justice Court Judge Post 2 position, and faces Democrat challenger Shane Banks.
Democrat police officer Michael C. Harvey and Republican Sheriff’s deputy Wade Hinshaw are both vying for Justice Court Constable Post 2.
District 1 Supervisor incumbent Jerry L. Wilson, a Democrat, faces a challenger in Republican Donnie “Speedy” Hedgepeth.
The District 3 Supervisors seat, which retiring incumbent Nolan E. Williamson will vacate, is up between Republican John David Hart and independent Jason McDonald.
What about state offices?
Three candidates are on the ballot for governor this year — incumbent Republican Tate Reeves, Democrat challenger Brandon Presley, and independent candidate Gwendolyn Gray. Gray has withdrawn from the race, but did so after the deadline for names to be added or removed from the ballot. This means her name will still be on the ballot, but there will be no runoff in Lincoln County.
Republican Delbert Hosemann is running to keep his seat at lieutenant governor, against Democrat challenger D. Ryan Grover.
The other state-level offices and candidates on the ballot are:
• Secretary of State — Republican Michael Watson, incumbent, and Democrat Ty Pinkins
• Attorney General — Republican incumbent Lynn Fitch and Democrat Greta Kemp Martin
• State Auditor — Incumbent Republican Shad White and Democrat Larry Bradford
• State Treasurer — Incumbent Republican David McRae and Democrat Addie L. Green
• Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce — Republican incumbent Andy Gipson and Democrat Robert “Brad” Bradford Sr.
• Commissioner of Insurance — Incumbent Republican Mike Chaney and Democrat Bruce Burton
• Transportation Commissioner, Southern District — Republican Charles Busby and Independent Steven Brian Griffin
Polls will be open Tuesday, Nov. 7, for the General Election from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. Anyone who has moved or is unsure of their polling place should contact the Circuit Clerk’s Office at 601-835-3435.
If needed, the General Election Runoff will be Tuesday, Nov. 28, when polls will once again be open 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. Absentee voting for the Runoff will conclude at noon, Saturday, Nov. 25.
NOTE: Runoffs only apply to state-level elections, such as governor. General Election runoffs do not apply to local or county elections, according to Lincoln County Circuit Clerk Dustin Bairfield, who oversees the county’s elections.