SuperTalk Mississippi

Coast senate seat still undecided

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Senate District 50 could still be up for grabs and it appears the courts may have to decide on how to proceed.

Dixie Newman, a councilwoman from Biloxi defeated former state representative Scott DeLano on August 6th in Senate District 50. However, DeLano issued a challenge due to the fact that it was believed that some voters did not receive the correct ballots.  After a recount, Newman still remained ahead of Delano, but by only one vote.

The Harrison County Republican Executive Committee met with attorneys representing DeLano and Newman on Tuesday but took no action.   The committee did not find nor corroborate any “errors” with voters. The meeting contained two votes by the committee; one to open the meeting and one to close the meeting.

It is well-established in Mississippi that the committee can only act through its minutes. Therefore, no action was taken by the committee. The parties were told in the meeting, by the committee’s attorney, that the committee did not feel they had the authority to take the action requested by Mr. Delano.

If DeLano intends to proceed with an official challenge of the results, a petition must be filed circuit court by Friday, September 6.

If a special election is ordered, the date would be set by the Governor and will not take place on the same day as the General Election.  In the event of a new election, any registered voter in Senate District 50, who did not vote in the Democratic Primary, would be eligible to vote.

Senate District 50 was previously held by Republican Tommy Gollott.  Gollott was elected in 1967 to the Mississippi House of Representatives where he served until he was elected to the Senate in 1979.  Gollott, who was a Democrat until he switched parties in 2000, retired earlier this year.   He announced his endorsement of DeLano in August before the primary.

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