The race to replace Senator Thad Cochran in the U.S. Senate has one less candidate after Tupelo Mayor Jason Shelton (D) announced that he has dropped out of the race.
During Shelton’s short campaign he spoke of wanting to encourage cooperation in Washington to benefit Mississippi, and in a statement, Shelton said that he hopes the elected candidate can achieve that goal. He also mentioned that he feels this race is not right for him, and decisions had to made quickly at the beginning of the campaign due to its unique nature.
A portion of Shelton’s statement can be read below:
“We entered this race with a desire to give voice to the issues, concerns, hopes, and aspirations of our fellow Mississippians.
I still feel strongly that we must get beyond the rhetoric that has been so detrimental to progress, and elect a U.S. Senator who is intent on working with Mississippians who need help navigating the maze of the federal government, working with other senators to push back the rising tide of debt swallowing our nation, and working to find practical solutions to the many challenges facing people across Mississippi. While my heart tells me this election, at this time, is not right for me, I am one of many in the next generation of leaders who are ready to serve for the betterment of our fellow Mississippians.
The nature of this special election, with a short qualifying period, was such that potential candidates had to make quick decisions about qualifying. The historic significance, and rare opportunity, of this special election, was also not lost on me.”
Shelton also mentioned that he will continue to serve as Mayor of Tupelo.
Following Cochran’s retirement, Governor Bryant appointed Mississippi’s Agriculture Commissioner Cindy Hyde-Smith as his temporary replacement, but November’s election will decide who serves out the remainder of the term. With Shelton’s exit, the candidates include Hyde-Smith (R), State Senator Chris McDaniel (R), former Congressman Mike Espy (D) and Gautier resident Tobey Bartee (D).
The election for the seat will take place on November 6th, and because it is a special election, there will be no primary. This means that all of the candidates will appear on the election day ballot.
If no candidate receives a majority of the vote on November 6th, a run-off will be held on the 27th.