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Baria wins Mississippi Democratic Senate runoff

David Baria during his victory speech. Screenshot courtesy of News Mississippi

The Democratic Senate primary has been called, and longtime State Representative David Baria has been declared the winner of the race over entrepreneur Howard Sherman.

The race was called around 8:45 p.m. With around 70% of precincts reporting, Baria held a nearly 20% lead over Sherman. The moment that the race was called, Baria shared a special moment with his daughter at their watch party in Gulfport.

While Sherman, who’s married to actress Sela Ward, was able to bring some of his Hollywood connections to Mississippi, Baria’s close ties to the state may have been enough to win over voters.

After the race was called, Baria thanked all of those who supported his campaign.

Baria received the endorsement of Rep. Bennie Thompson, the Mississippi Legislative Black Caucus and several others ahead of this race.

“David’s voting record on public education, Medicaid expansion, funding of mental health services and criminal justice reform is consistently in line with the votes of our Caucus,” said Sonya Williams-Barnes, Chair of the Caucus. “He has publicly called for the changing of the state flag, an important step in changing the economic climate of this state and legislative priority for us. He is not shy when it comes to voting on issues in which we favor or not favor. He is with us and for that, we, The Mississippi Legislative Black Caucus, are proud to call him a partner in moving forward.”

Baria will now go on to face incumbent Senator Roger Wicker in November, and he says that it’s time for a change.

“I think a lot of folks down here don’t know much about Roger Wicker. Despite the fact that he’s been in Congress or the Senate for 24 years, and Mississippi doesn’t have much to show for it,” he said. “He’s vulnerable, Democrats have enthusiasm on our side.”

In a statement, Wicker congratulated Baria and said that he looks forward to the campaign.

“Congratulations to David Baria on his win in the Democratic run-off.  Gayle and I look forward to seeing him on the campaign trail. We will continue traveling the state, working to earn votes, and communicating our record of conservative accomplishments and a vision for our nation’s future that reflects our Mississippi values,” Wicker said.

During his time as a member of the legislature, Baria has served as Leader of the State House of Representatives’ Democratic Caucus. Away from the legislature, Baria is an attorney on the Coast.

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