Hernando Alderman Michael McLendon outpolled incumbent state Sen. Chris Massey to win the Republican nomination for Massey’s state Senate District 1 seat during Tuesday’s run-off vote.
McLendon’s victory was the only local surprise among the results from the GOP primary runoff vote held across Mississippi, led by the vote that nominated Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves for governor.
The 4,275-4,022 result also means McLendon becomes the state Senator-elect from the district. He has no Democratic opposition from the Aug. 6 primary and thus will run unopposed in the November general election.
There were four other races on the runoff card in DeSoto County on Tuesday that decided Republican candidates for the November vote.
Former DeSoto County supervisor and former head of the DeSoto County Schools Transportation Department John Caldwell easily carried the county on his way to a victory over Geoffrey Yoste for Northern District Transportation Commissioner, replacing the retiring Mike Tagert.
Caldwell polled 13,461 votes in his home county to Yoste with 2,571 votes, a margin that propelled Caldwell to victory in the 33 counties that make up the district. Caldwell won 56.4-43.6 percent over Yoste.
Holly Springs native and current State Treasurer Lynn Fitch claimed the GOP nod for Attorney General by a 52-48 percent margin statewide. In DeSoto County, Fitch earned 9,119 votes to Taggart with 6,995.
Despite support from former gubernatorial candidate and Hernando state Rep. Robert Foster, former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Bill Waller Jr. did not carry DeSoto County against Reeves Tuesday night.
Reeves received 8,989 votes to Waller’s 7,713 in the county, as the lieutenant governor won the nomination with 54.26 percent of the statewide vote. Reeves now faces Democratic Attorney General Jim Hood in the November general election.
One locally contested race for DeSoto County Supervisor in District 3 went to Ray Denison by a 1,100-834 vote margin over current Southaven Alderman Charlie Hoots.
Party activists were disturbed about the voter turnout in Tuesday’s runoff election. A total of 16,788 votes were cast, which is 15.45 percent of the 108,640 registered voters in DeSoto County. About 24 percent came out for the primary election on Aug. 6.
Tuesday’s county vote was also a Republican-only affair, as Democrats had either not slotted a candidate in a particular race, or their nomination choice had already been made, thus not requiring a runoff vote.
Bob Bakken is Managing Editor for the DeSoto Times-Tribune.