John Caldwell

John Caldwell, Republican candidate for Northern District Transportation Commissioner, makes a point during a recent party runoff candidate forum held by the DeSoto County Republican Women’s Club.

There will be a number of races for DeSoto County Republicans to consider when they return to the polls on Tuesday, Aug. 27 for Primary Runoff Election Day. 

Runoffs were made necessary when no one candidate received a majority of the votes cast in the Aug. 6 primary election.

Of most statewide interest will be the runoff race for governor between Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves and former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Bill Waller Jr.

Also on the ballot will be a runoff for Attorney General between current State Treasurer Lynn Fitch and Andy Taggart. Another runoff will have John Caldwell of Nesbit against Geoffrey Yoste for Northern District Transportation Commissioner, and in state Senate District 1, incumbent state Sen. Chris Massey faces the challenge of Hernando Alderman Michael McLendon for the GOP nomination in November.

In DeSoto County, Supervisor District 3 Republicans must decide between Walls Alderman Ray Denison and Southaven Alderman Charlie Hoots on Tuesday, as well.

Winners of all five elections advance as the Republican choice for the November general election.

There is no party crossover in Tuesday’s runoff, as Democrats cannot vote in the Tuesday vote. Republicans who voted in their party primary on Aug. 6, or those who are registered and declare themselves as Republicans, but didn’t vote in the primary election, can vote on Tuesday.

Primaries are considered party functions and in DeSoto County are overseen by the Republican county executive committee.

Polls are open from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. on Election Day. The deadline for absentee voting in person is Saturday, Aug. 24 at 12 noon in the Circuit Clerk’s office at the Courthouse.

A number of Republican candidates met with party activists one more time ahead of the election at a recent DeSoto County Republican Women’s Club event at the Bank Plus Training Center in Southaven.

Caldwell, running against Yoste for the Transportation Commissioner’s post, sought to inspire his fellow party supporters to vote on Tuesday.

“The Jackson elite wants DeSoto County to stay out of their business in August,” Caldwell said. “We need to let them know in August that we care. We have a reputation of not caring about Mississippi politics because we don’t show up in a runoff and we don’t show in these statewide elections.”

Taggart reminded the audience that the Attorney General is the state’s chief law enforcement officer.

“That official should be devoted to fighting what we believe to be the gravest earthly dangers that we face in our community,” Taggart said. “That is not the price of milk being charged at the school cafeteria. Those dangers are not destroying the fabric of our communities and poisoning our kids. Drugs are doing that.”

The other candidate who did appear at the forum was Bill Waller Jr., who reminded those attending about his positions supporting better backing of education, and his plan for funding road and bridge repair and improvement.

“We’ve got over $1 billion of critical bridge needs that we’ve got to do in Mississippi,” Waller said. “My plan will not add one penny to the income tax and not add one penny to the national debt. What I want to do is a tax swap. Let’s do away with the four percent tax bracket and let’s do some small measure increases in the user fees so we can have out-of-state drivers pay for our roads.”

Others who spoke on behalf of candidates were state Sen. David Parker for state Sen. Chris Massey; Ellen Jernigan for Lynn Fitch, who is running against Taggart for Attorney General; and Elee Reeves for her husband, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, who is running for governor.

Bob Bakken is Managing Editor of the DeSoto Times-Tribune.

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