Now that the qualifying period has come to a close, candidates for Mississippi’s 2023 statewide elections have been confirmed.
With party primaries set for August 8 and general elections set for November 7, here is a list of who all is running.
Tate Reeves (Republican)
Incumbent Tate Reeves is seeking to become the fourth Republican governor dating back to Kirk Fordice to be elected to consecutive terms in Mississippi. During his reelection announcement, Reeves touted his leadership through a series of natural disasters over the course of his first term – including the COVID-19 pandemic, multiple hurricanes and tornados, and even the ongoing Jackson water crisis.
Reeves prides himself on being economically driven, calling an unexpected special session back in November to secure a $2.5 billion economic project for the Golden Triangle area. Other talking points that Reeves will undoubtedly use on the campaign trail include passages of the largest tax cut in state history, the state’s largest-ever teacher pay increase, as well as Mississippi’s role in the overturning of Roe v. Wade.
David Grady Hardigree (Republican)
David Gray Hardigree of Florence is running for governor after serving 38 years in the U.S. Army. If elected, Hardigree said that he would prioritize cleaning up the state’s welfare programs, infrastructure improvements, and additional teacher pay raises.
John Witcher (Republican)
John Witcher, a former doctor at Baptist Memorial Hospital in Yazoo City, made headlines back in December 2021 after allegedly attempting to switch patients’ remdesivir prescriptions for Ivermectin. Now, he’s taking his anti-COVID vaccine stance to the campaign trail.
During his announcement for governor, Witcher said he is running for office to fight for those whom he perceives to be victims of major pharmaceutical companies, such as Pfizer and Moderna. This is his first time running for political office in Mississippi.
Bob Hickingbottom (Democrat)
Bob Hickingbottom is running for governor once again – this time as a Democrat – after receiving a mere 0.3 percent of the vote in 2019 as a member of the Constitution Party. He is a proponent of Medicaid expansion, allowing incarcerated nurses and doctors to practice for minimum wage until their sentence ends, and providing raises to all first responders and teachers.
Brandon Presley (Democrat)
Brandon Presley, who has served as public service commissioner in the state’s northern district since 2008, recently decided to throw his hat in the ring after months of speculation that he might challenge Reeves. Prior to his time as public service commissioner, Presley served as mayor of his hometown of Nettleton from 2001-2007 after being elected at the age of 23.
A self-proclaimed populist and FDR-Billy McCoy Democrat (referring to the former U.S. president and Mississippi House speaker), Presley is a major proponent of Medicaid expansion as well as repealing the state’s grocery tax. He has also promised, if elected, to not only address the $77 million public welfare scandal that continues to shake the state but also other corruption within Mississippi’s capital city.
Gregory Wash (Democrat)
Gregory Wash is once again running for governor after receiving 1.1 percent of the vote in the Democratic primary for governor in 2019. Wash, who some might remember from his “Rock ‘n’ Roll Governor” commercial, is a disabled veteran. He previously ran on the ideas of providing all Mississippians with a $5,000 stimulus package, raising the minimum wage, making marijuana a misdemeanor, and implementing a public school and transportation system in every county.
Gwendolyn Gray (Independent)
Gwendolyn Gray does not have a campaign website or Facebook set up currently.
Delbert Hosemann (Republican)
Incumbent Delbert Hosemann will be running for reelection in Mississippi as he nears the final year of his first term. Hosemann has occupied positions in statewide office for nearly two decades, as he held the role of Mississippi’s secretary of state for three terms before being elected lieutenant governor.
Hosemann was elected in 2019 with more than a 60 percent vote, later contributing to bills that reduced the state income tax to four percent, provided teacher pay raises across the state, and increased access to broadband internet. He also brought transparency to the Mississippi Senate, which now webcasts all committee work and floor debate.
Tiffany Longino (Republican)
Brandon native Tiffany Longino is running on a platform centered around education and small businesses. Longino, who has served as a member of the Mississippi Federation of Republican Women, has stated that she will push for Mississippi students to choose between an education in career tech or a liberal education.
Chris McDaniel (Republican)
State Senator Chris McDaniel, a longtime far-right Republican, will be attempting to secure the position of Mississippi’s lieutenant governor in the upcoming election.
So far, McDaniel has unsuccessfully run in two statewide campaigns, losing an election against U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith in 2018 and the late former U.S. Senator Thad Cochran in 2014. He argues that he sides with limiting the scope of government and advancing civil liberties. He has promised to fight what he believes to be socialist ideals being pushed in public spaces — especially colleges and universities.
Shane Quick (Republican)
Republican candidate Shane Quick previously ran against Hosemann in the 2019 primary election. Quick received a little over 14 percent of the total vote.
Ryan Grover (Democrat)
Ryan Grover, who was a candidate for the Oxford Board of Alderman in 2021, is the only Democrat in the running for the position of lieutenant governor.
Secretary of State
Michael Watson (Republican)
After mulling a run for governor, Michael Watson ultimately decided to seek reelection as Mississippi’s secretary of state – even though he has previously made it clear that he is not happy with the state’s top leadership.
Watson, a former state senator, was elected secretary of state in 2019, taking over the seat left vacant by current Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann. During his time in office, Watson has worked to secure statewide elections, register more voters across the state, and cut regulations on businesses.
Shuwaski Young (Democrat)
Former congressional candidate Shuwaski Young, who unsuccessfully challenged Representative Michael Guest in November, previously worked at the Mississippi Secretary of State’s Office under both Republican Delbert Hosemann and Democrat Eric Clark.
Young believes his experience as well as his vision for the state make him the ideal candidate. If elected, one of Young’s main goals would be to make voting easier in Mississippi, which is one of just 10 states without a form of online voter registration.
Lynn Fitch (Republican)
Incumbent Lynn Fitch is looking to serve a second term as the attorney general of Mississippi after taking office in 2020. Fitch made state history after becoming the first Republican attorney general in Mississippi since 1878.
Prior to being elected as attorney general, Fitch held the position of state treasurer from 2012-2020. During her first term as AG, Fitch has advocated for increased funding to organizations that help human trafficking victims, implementing a Women’s Bill of Rights, and the overturning of the landmark Roe v. Wade case.
Greta Martin (Democrat)
Democrat Greta Martin, an attorney from Jackson, currently serves as litigation director at Disability Rights Mississippi. Her father, Mike Kemp, is chief of police for the city of Tishomingo and is currently seeking the office of Tishomingo County sheriff as a Republican.
David McRae (Republican)
David McRae has held the position of state treasurer since 2020, previously running for the position against Republican Lynn Fitch in 2015. McRae stated in September that his office has partnered with local communities across the state to return more than $60 million to residents while he has served as treasurer.
During his previous campaign, McRae pushed for improving investment returns of the college savings program, lowering interest costs on debt, and seeking out Mississippians with unclaimed property.
Addie Green (Democrat)
Democrat Addie Green, a former Bolton Board of Alderman member, previously ran against McRae in 2019. Green received 39.2 percent of the vote following the election.
Shad White (Republican)
Incumbent Shad White has served as state auditor since 2018 after being appointed by former Governor Phil Bryant. During his four years in office, White’s office has played a vital role in putting a stop to the largest public fraud scheme in state history while recovering a record amount of misspent taxpayer money.
In addition, White has worked to cut down on unnecessary costs to taxpayers, reveal cases of misspent COVID-19 relief funds, and reduce the rising issue of brain drain in the state.
Larry Bradford (Democrat)
Larry Bradford, a Democrat, is the current mayor of Anguilla. Located in Sharkey County, the town is populated by less than 500 people.
Andy Gipson (Republican)
Incumbent Andy Gipson has served as Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce since 2018 when he was appointed to fill the vacant seat previously held by now U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith. During his time in office, Gipson had a well installed for the State Fairgrounds, so the numerous events taking place there wouldn’t be reliant on the city of Jackson’s water system.
Gipson also drastically increased security measures for the Mississippi State Fair after the mass shooting that took place during the 2022 Mud Bug Fest.
Robert Briggs (Democrat)
Democrat Robert Briggs is a partner at Sharp, Dummer & Briggs, PLLC. His practice focuses on litigation and workers compensation defense for several large insurers and other corporations. Over his 17 years of practice, he has handled primarily cases involving automobile and trucking accidents, premises liability, products liability, construction litigation, school district and other governmental entities under the Mississippi Tort Claims Act, and employment discrimination.
Robert Bradford (Democrat)
Robert Bradford, a Democrat, is currently serving as the director of Natchez-Adams County Homeland Security Program, Floodplain Management Program, Emergency 9-1-1 Coordinator, and Emergency Management Agency.
Bethany Hill (Democrat)
Democrat Bethany Hill is the president of the medical marijuana advocacy group “We Are The 74.” Hill played a major role in pushing state lawmakers to legalize medical marijuana in Mississippi.
Terry Rogers, II (Democrat)
Terry Rogers, II is an 18-year-old student at Jones County Junior College in Ellisville. The teenage candidate grew up farming with his father.
Mike Chaney (Republican)
Incumbent Republican Mike Chaney was elected to be Mississippi’s 11th commissioner of insurance and state fire marshal in 2007. He is currently serving his fourth term in office.
Recently, Chaney was tasked with overseeing negotiations between the University of Mississippi Medical Center and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mississippi after the two were unable to reach a contract agreement for nearly nine months, resulting in over 50,000 patients without coverage at the state’s largest hospital.
Mitch Young (Republican)
Mitch Young, a Republican, is an outside machinist, stationary engineer and maintenance technician with Illinois-based Tool Tech’s Hattiesburg plant. Young joined the United States Navy in 1979 and served until his retirement in 1999. His work in the Navy focused on engineering, repair and safety.
Bruce Burton (Democrat)
Democrat Bruce Burton is the owner of Burton Law Firm where he practices law with his Wife, Cheryl L. Burton. Burton has over 21 years of law practice.
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