On Nov. 6, voters across Mississippi will head to the polls to elect officials for a variety of positions, including United States Senate and United States House of Representatives.
Along with those statewide seats, several local candidates will be on the ballot, including school board members, circuit court judges, county court judges and chancery court judges.
While voters in Forrest and Lamar counties will have mostly the same choices on their ballots, there will be some variance in local elections between counties.
U.S. Senate (Forrest and Lamar)
Incumbent U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, a Republican, will face three challengers in the general election: Democrat David Baria, Libertarian Danny Bedwell and Reform Party candidate Shawn O’Hara. Wicker, who has served in the position since 2007, formerly was a member of the United States House of Representatives and the Mississippi State Senate.
Baria, who works as an attorney, represents the 122nd District in the Mississippi House of Representatives and serves as the House Minority Leader. He was a member of the U.S. Senate before he was elected to his current position after the retirement of former representative J.P. Compretta.
Bedwell, a Columbus native and retired diver for the U.S. Navy, is part owner of a company that exports wood products to Canada and Mexico.
O’Hara, a movie producer and business consultant who lives in Hattiesburg, has two bachelor’s degrees and two master’s degrees from William Carey University. He has previously run for governor, state treasurer and the U.S. House of Representatives, among other posts.
U.S. Senate special election (Forrest and Lamar)
In a special, non-partisan election for United States Senate, four candidates will face off for the position that was vacated when former Sen. Thad Cochran retired in April. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith – who was appointed by Gov. Phil Bryant to fill out the remainder of Cochran’s term – will be challenged by Chris McDaniel, Mike Espy and Tobey Bernard Bartee.
Before being appointed to the seat, Hyde-Smith served as the Republican Mississippi Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce. McDaniel currently represents District 42 in the Mississippi State Senate, while Espy has served as United States Secretary of Agriculture, Assistant State Attorney General and the representative for the 2nd District of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Bartee, who lives in Gautier, has worked for the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense with the U.S. Navy.
U.S. House of Rep. 4th Congressional District (Forrest and Lamar)
In the U.S. House race, incumbent Republican Steven Palazzo will square off against Democrat Jeramey Anderson and Reform Party candidate Lajena Sheets.
Palazzo, who assumed the office in 2011, enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1988 and currently serves in the Mississippi Army National Guard. Anderson, who currently represents the 110th District in the Mississippi House of Representatives, was the youngest African-American to be elected to any United States legislature in 2013.
Sheets works at the Forrest County Sheriff’s Office.
Supreme Court Justice District 2, Position 1 (Forrest and Lamar)
Incumbent David M. Ishee will run unopposed in the nonpartisan judicial race for District 2, Position 1. He was appointed to the post by Bryant in 2017 to replace former Justice Jess Dickinson.
Ishee formerly served as a judge on the Mississippi Court of Appeals.
Court of Appeals District 5, Position 1 (Forrest and Lamar)
Incumbent Anthony N. Lawrence III will run unopposed in the nonpartisan election for Court of Appeals District 5, Position 1. Lawrence currently serves as the District Attorney for Jackson, George and Greene counties.
Court of Appeals District 5, Position 2 special election (Forrest and Lamar)
Incumbent Sean Tindell will run unopposed in the nonpartisan election for Court of Appeals District 5, Position 2. He was appointed by Bryant in 2017 to replace Ishee after Ishee was appointed to the Mississippi Supreme Court.
Chancery Court Judge District 10, Place 1 (Forrest and Lamar)
Incumbent Deborah J. Gambrell will run unopposed in the nonpartisan judicial election for Chancery Court District 10, Place 1. She was appointed to the position by former Gov. Haley Barbour in 2011 to replace James H. C. Thomas Jr.
Chancery Court Judge District 10, Place 2 (Forrest and Lamar)
Incumbent Rhea Hudson Sheldon will run unopposed in the nonpartisan judicial election for Chancery Court District 10, Place 2. Before serving as judge, Sheldon worked as a judicial law clerk for the Supreme Court of Mississippi from 2002-2003.
Chancery Court Judge District 10, Place 3 (Forrest and Lamar)
Bob Marshall and Sheila Smallwood will vie in the non-partisan election for Chancery Court Judge District 10, Place 3.
Marshall began practicing law in January 1974. Smallwood obtained her Juris Doctorate in 1994 and practiced at the Law Firm of Holmes & White in Petal before opening her own firm.
The winner will take over for the retiring Johnny L. Williams.
Chancery Court Judge District 10, Place 4 (Forrest and Lamar)
A full slate of candidates will square off for the nonpartisan position of Chancery Court Judge in District 10, Place 4: Stacey Sims Barber, Christopher M. Howdeshell, Vanessa Jones, Harry R. Lane, Chad Smith and Joseph L. Turney.
The winner will take over for the retiring M. Ronald Doleac.
Circuit Court Judge District 15, Place 1 (Lamar)
Incumbent Anthony A. “Tony” Mozingo will run unopposed in the nonpartisan election. He was first elected to the position in 2010.
Circuit Court Judge District 15, Place 2 (Lamar)
Incumbent Prentiss G. Harrell will run unopposed in the nonpartisan election. He was first elected to the court in 2007.
Circuit Court Judge District 15, Place 3 (Lamar)
Incumbent Claiborne “Buddy” McDonald will run unopposed in the nonpartisan election. He was first elected in 2015.
County Court Judge (Lamar)
Douglas E. Miller and Brad Touchstone will vie for the nonpartisan spot of County Court Judge in Lamar County.
Miller has served as the prosecutor for the cities of Purvis and Lumberton, assistant district attorney and Lamar County Attorney. Touchstone served as Lamar County Attorney before being elected as the District 101 representative in the Mississippi House of Representatives.
Lamar County School Board, District D (Lamar)
Incumbent Terry Ingram will defend the seat against challenger Matt Miller.
Ingram is an assistant professor of education and graduate recruiter at William Carey University, and previously served as principal at Oak Grove Middle School. Miller has worked with organizations such as Leadership Pine Belt, the Mississippi Bar Association, Habitat for Humanity and the Hattiesburg Youth Soccer Association.
Lamar County School Board, District B (Lamar)
Incumbent Reggie Townsend will square off against James “Jim” Braswell for the school board seat in District B.
Townsend was sworn in to the position after the recent resignation of former board member Carolyn Adams. He had previously served on the post and was the first African American to sit on the LCSD board.
Braswell previously served on the William Carey University Board of Trustees, as well as the U.S. Air Force.
County and Youth Court Judge (Forrest)
Four candidates will vie for the judicial seat: Robert Davis, Pamela Luckie Castle, Robert Davis, James D. “Jim” Johnson and Carol Jones Russell.
Castle is currently the prosecutor for Forrest County, while Russell and Johnson are Hattiesburg attorneys.
Justice Court Judge Post 2 special election (Forrest)
Anthony T. McCullum, Christopher “Chris” Townsend, John Derek Tryner and Zachary M. Vaughn will vie for the post vacated by the retiring Pat Causey.
Forrest County School Board, District 3 (Forrest)
Angela Brown and Cliff Lazenby will square off for the school board position.
Forrest County School Board, District 4 (Forrest)
Ronnie Perkins will run unopposed in the election. Perkins currently serves as director of the Public Works Department for the city of Hattiesburg.
Circuit Court Judge District 12, Place 1 (Forrest)
Incumbent Bob Helfrich will run unopposed for the position.
Circuit Court Judge District 12, Place 2 (Forrest)
Incumbent Jon Mark Weathers, who previously served as District Attorney, will run unopposed in the election.
District 1 Election Commissioner (Forrest)
Incumbent Gentry Mordica will face off against former commissioner Charles Phillips for the election commissioner seat. Mordica was appointed to fill the spot after former commissioner Tyler Wood resigned shortly after defeating Phillips in the previous election.