State election deadline

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 3, 2011

4 Dems make for crowded primary: Deadline hits to seek state seats

By Billy Davis

The political game is afoot for Mississippi’s District 10 senate seat, where Republican Nolan Mettetal has said he is not seeking re-election.

Mettetal, once a Democrat, switched parties during the most recent of his three terms in office.

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His surprise announcement has created a five-way race for District 10, which includes a competitive four-way race among local Democrats.

Michael Cathey, Dennis Dye, Steve Hale and Mona Pittman met the June 1 deadline to qualify for the Democratic nomination.

The winner of the primary will face Republican Vann Branch in the November 2 General Election.

Cathey and Hale are from Tate County.

Dye is from Sardis.

Pittman, who practices law in Batesville, is from Oxford.

Branch is from Pope.  

In another political twist, Mettetal has qualified to run in a House of Representatives seat being vacated by state Rep. Warner McBride.

Now that the door has shut on the qualifying deadline, Mettetal and Doug Jones, of Batesville, will compete in a Republican primary.

Jordan Bankhead, of Oxford, and Greg Hodges, of Teasdale, qualified as Democrats for the same race.

In other races, state Rep. Joe Gardner, of Batesville, qualified to seek re-election to his District 11 seat. He did not pick up an opponent.

State Rep. Clara Burnett, of Tunica, also qualified for re-election. Her District 9 seat includes a portion of north Panola County.

She also did not draw an opponent.

Both Gardner and Burnett are Democrats.