by Hunter Dawkins

Not since the Mississippi Plan of 1875 during Reconstruction in the United States, has the state been controlled by the Republican Party.  Once the ballots closed Tuesday evening, all of the eight statewide positions were secured by the Grand Ole Party (Republican) leadership with Tate Reeves being elected as the 65th Governor of Mississippi.

Unofficially, results reported at midnight that Reeves of the Republican Party received over 430,000 votes or 52.3% over Democratic nominee Jim Hood.  Hood collected just over 380,000 votes or 46.4% with 97% of the vote around the state reporting.

Whether it was conservative platform, the U.S. President Donald J. Trump’s recent visit in Tupelo, or Vice-President Mike Pence’s Monday Gulf Coast trip, the Republican Party cleaned house throughout the state and Harrison County.

In the Lieutenant Governor’s Race, the Republican Delbert Hosemann easily defeated Democrat Jay Hughes 60-40%.  Similar numbers were in the Secretary of State race, where former GOP Senator Michael Watson defeated former Hattiesburg Mayor Democrat Johnny Dupree 59-41%.  One of the few incumbents, GOP Commissioner of Agriculture Andy Gibson beat Democratic challenger Rickey Cole 59-41%.

In one statewide race; which had historical ramifications, former GOP Treasurer Lynn Fitch defeated Democratic challenger Jennifer Riley-Collins for the state Attorney General.  Fitch becomes the first female to ever hold the position of the Attorney General in the state of Mississippi.  Additionally, Republican newcomer David McRae won his race against Democratic candidate Addie Lee Green 61-39%.

Harrison County revealed a clean sweep for the Republicans, especially for Senate and House districts that were contested.  The Republican Party secured an upset win of State Senate District 48 (Pass Christian, Long Beach, Gulfport) with GOP candidate Mike Thompson beating Democratic nominee Gary Fredericks 52-48%.  Senate District 48 had not been controlled in the state legislature by the Republicans since 1988.

The Democratic Party now controls only one state legislative seat in Harrison County, as House District 119 Representative Sonya Williams-Barnes (D-Gulfport) was uncontested after the August primary.

Local West Harrison County races were not close as Republican Paula Ladner won the tax assessor position 80-20, incumbent GOP Tax Collector David LaRosa received 3 times more than independent opponent, and current Board of Supervisors President Marlin Ladner comfortably beat former Pass Christian Alderman Joe Piernas for the District 3 Supervisor seat 74-26%.

Former District 2 Supervisor Angel Kibler-Middleton nearly doubled up independent candidate Neil McInnis for District 2 Constable 63-37%.

Official results will be certified by the end of the week.