Ballot qualifying starts Jan. 3 – County, state Legislature seats up for grabs

Published 6:39 am Wednesday, December 28, 2022

The coming new year will bring a flurry of activity at county courthouses across Mississippi as statewide qualifying by candidates for almost all offices (except municipalities) will get underway.

County courthouses will open Jan. 3 and qualifying will continue through Feb. 1 at 5 p.m.

The Primary Election Day for 2023 will be Aug. 8, followed by the Primary Runoff Elections, if needed, on Aug. 29.

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The General Election in Mississippi will be Nov. 7.

Locally, there will (ostensibly) be races for Supervisor seats, Sheriff, District Attorney, Circuit Clerk, Chancery Clerk, Tax Collector, Tax Assessor, Coroner, Election Commissioners, Constables, and Justice Court Judges. 

The ballots will begin to fill, or not, next month when candidates decide whether to seek their current seats or other posts, while potential candidates weigh their options and chances of successful challenges of positions currently held by others.

Mississippi is also one of three states holding state executive elections and four states holding legislative elections in 2023.

All eight statewide elected offices along with the six state district commissioners will be on the ballot.  Those include Governor, Lt. Gov., Secretary of State, Attorney General, State Auditor, State Treasurer, Insurance Commissioner, Agriculture and Commerce Commissioner, Public Service Commissioners (Northern, Central, and Southern Districts), Transportation Commissioners (Northern, Central, and Southern Districts), 

All of those statewide seats but two are currently held by Republicans.  

Brandon Presley and Willie Simmons, who serve as the Northern District Public Service Commissioner and Central District Transportation Commissioner, are the lone Democrats in state offices.

Presley has been mentioned often as a possible Democratic candidate for Governor, but has maintained that he will seek his current seat as Public Service Commissioner again.

Presley is also the only incumbent with an announced opponent.  Republican Mandy Gunasekara has been actively running for the Northern PSC seat since mid-November.

All 52 state Senate and 122 House of Representative seats will also be up for election.

Republicans currently hold supermajorities in both chambers of the Legislature.

Speaker of the House Philip Gunn is among a handful of lawmakers who have announced that they will not be seeking re-election to their legislative seats in 2023.  

Gunn’s Speaker Pro Tempore Rep. Jason White looks to take the gavel assuming he wins his own re-election bid in his House District and Republicans solidify their majority in the chamber.

Candidates in Mississippi’s elections can choose to qualify and run under the two main political parties – Republican or Democrat – and run in their party primaries, or can register to run as a third-party candidate or as an independent.

For more information on how to qualify to run for a particular office, contact the Circuit Clerk’s office or the Mississippi Secretary of State office.