- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 23, 2020

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Runoffs will be needed for at least three special elections to fill seats in the Mississippi Legislature. A fourth special election is also likely to go to a runoff, unless certified results push the top candidate over a majority in Tuesday’s first round of voting.

Runoffs are Oct. 13, and winners will serve the rest of a four-year term that ends in January 2024.

Candidates in Mississippi special elections run without party labels, but they often tell voters their political affiliation.


Businessman Bart Williams and educator Joyce Meek Yates are headed to a runoff. They finished ahead of two other candidates Tuesday, but neither Williams nor Yates received a majority needed to win.

The district is in Choctaw, Montgomery, Oktibbeha and Webster counties.

Republican Sen. Gary Jackson of French Camp resigned June 30 because of health concerns. He had served since 2004.


Bank of Brookhaven chairman Bill Sones and attorney Jason Barrett are headed to a runoff after leading seven other candidates.

The district is in Copiah, Lawrence, Lincoln and Walthall counties.

Republican Sen. Sally Doty of Brookhaven resigned in mid-July after the governor nominated her to be director of the state Public Utilities Staff, a group that analyzes proposals and provides advice to the three elected members of the Public Service Commission. Doty had served in the Senate since 2012.


Lynn Wright, a former superintendent of the Lowndes County School District, fell just short of a majority needed to win in a three-person race Tuesday, according to unofficial results. If those results remain firm after numbers are certified, he will face pool service owner David M. Chism in a runoff.

The district is in Clay, Lowndes and Oktibbeha counties.

Republican Rep. Gary Chism of Columbus resigned June 30 after serving since 2000. He had a stroke in 2017 and said he had not enjoyed legislative service as much since then.

Gary Chism and David Chism are cousins.


Former teacher Robert C. “Bob” Lee Jr. and Jackson City Councilman De’Keither A. Stamps are going to a runoff after they finished ahead of four other candidates Tuesday.

The district is in Hinds County.

Democratic Rep. Jarvis Dortch of Raymond resigned July 1 to become director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Mississippi. Dortch had served in the House since 2016.

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