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Special election delayed to fill a Mississippi House seat

A nonpartisan special election to fill a Mississippi House seat is being delayed by two months because of concerns about the coronavirus.

Gov. Tate Reeves announced Thursday that June 23 is the new date for the election in District 88 in parts of Jasper and Jones counties. If a runoff is needed, it will be July 14.

The original date was April 21 with a May 12 runoff.

Three candidates have qualified for the race, and the qualification period will not reopen.

Republican Rep. Ramona Blackledge of Laurel resigned Jan. 31, less than a month after the start of the four-year term. The freshman lawmaker said she had to choose between serving in the House and collecting her state retirement pay. She said she could not afford to relinquish the pension that she earned during 40 years of working for county government.

In Mississippi special elections, candidates run without party labels on the ballot but they often tell voters their party affiliation.

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