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BILL CRAWFORD — Political ad bombardment coming as Aug. 6 primaries near

BILL CRAWFORD

Four weeks. Only four more weeks until Mississippi’s August primaries.

It will be a super quick four weeks if you’re a candidate. There’s just never enough time to do everything you meant to do, they told you to do, or you ought to do.

It will be a long, arduous four weeks if you’re already tired of political advertising. Every minute of every day, every nook and cranny of visual and aural media will be overstuffed with political advertising.

Now is when local candidates will crack open their often meagre political nest eggs to buy political ads. Competing with them will be state and regional candidates who couldn’t afford much media until the last minute. Dominating will still be those statewide candidates who had, and have, tons of money to spend.

And don’t forget the yard signs, rather, the much more prolific highway and street right-of-way “yard” signs.

If you haven’t been paying attention, you will now have no choice.

Local campaigns have a lot to do with statewide campaign results. Most voters turn out to vote in their local races – sheriff, supervisor, school board member, district attorney, circuit clerk, chancery clerk, tax assessor, tax collector, county attorney, justice court judge, constable, coroner, state representative, and state senator.

Where these races are contested, turnout should be high. Where they aren’t, turnout will depend on interest in state and regional races.

It is the aggregate of these local turnouts that will likely decide if there are runoffs in any state races.

Both the Republican and Democratic primaries for Governor could see runoffs. Bill Waller, Robert Foster and Tate Reeves are seeking the Republican nomination.  Albert Wilson, Gregory Wash, Jim Hood, Michael Brown, Robert Ray, Robert Shuler Smith, and Velesha Williams are seeking the Democratic nomination.

The other statewide race with a potential runoff is the Republican primary for Attorney General. There Andy Taggart, Lynn Fitch, and Mark Baker are running.

There will be no runoffs in other top races like Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, State Treasurer, Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce, Commissioner of Insurance, and State Auditor since there are only one or two candidates in each race.

The only other non-local races where a runoff could happen are the Republican primaries for Northern District Transportation Commissioner where A. Hathcock, Geoffrey Yoste, Jeremy Martin, John Caldwell, and Trey Bowman are running and for Southern District Transportation Commissioner where Chad Toney, Tom King, and Tony Smith are running, and the Democratic primary for Central District Public Service Commissioner where Bruce Burton, De’Keither Stamps, Dorothy Benford, and Ryan Brown are running.

The great lack of potential statewide runoffs poses risks for the heavyweight favorites in the race for Governor. Should either Reeves or Hood, or both, end up in runoffs, turnout will be problematic. 

Could that happen? Yes.

For example, if there are high Republican turnouts in Central Mississippi and DeSoto County and average turnouts elsewhere, governor candidates Waller and Foster might pull enough votes together to send Reeves into a runoff. If there are high Democratic turnouts in the Delta, Hinds County, and other heavily black counties, Smith, Williams, Brown, Albert, Wash, and Ray might pull enough votes together to send Hood into a runoff.

All these upcoming political ads will help you decide what happens.

 » Crawford is a syndicate columnist from Meridian.

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About Bill Crawford