Democrats narrow U.S. Senate field to Howard Sherman and David Baria
♦By Rich Shumate, ChickenFriedPolitics.com editor
JACKSON, Mississippi (CFP) — A crowded field of six Republicans vying for the open 3rd District U.S. House seat in Mississippi has been narrowed to two contenders, with Michael Guest and Whit Hughes winning the right to face each other in a June 26 runoff.
Guest, the chief prosecutor for the judicial district that includes Madison and Rankin counties, took 45 percent in the first round of voting June 5, to 22 percent for Hughes, a hospital executive and aide to former Governor Haley Barbour.
Perry Parker, a farmer and investment executive from Seminary, came in third at 16 percent.
The 3rd District stretches across southern Mississippi from Natchez to Meridian and also includes the northern Jackson suburbs. The seat is being vacated by U.S. Rep. Gregg Harper, who is retiring after five terms.
The winner of the race between Guest and Hughes will face Democratic State Rep. Michael Ted Evans of Preston, who easily won his party’s primary.
Also in Mississippi, Democrats narrowed their field of candidates contending for the nomination to take on veteran Republican U.S. Senator Roger Wicker in November, a race in which the senator will be heavily favored.
Howard Sherman, a venture capitalist from Meridian who is married to actress and Meridian native Sela Ward, will face State House Minority Leader David Baria from Bay St. Louis in the runoff. Sherman took 32 percent to Baria’s 31 percent, eliminating four other candidates.
The Magnolia State’s other Senate seat is also open, after the retirement of Thad Cochran earlier this year. It will be filled in an all-party special election in November that features Republican U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith, who was appointed as a temporary replacement for Cochran; GOP State Senator Chris McDaniel, who ran unsuccessfully to unseat Cochran in 2014; and former Democratic U.S. Rep. Mike Espy, who served as agriculture secretary in the Clinton administration.
McDaniel had initially filed to run against Wicker in the primary but switched to the other race after Hyde-Smith was appointed to Cochran’s seat.