Could we see repeat of 1999 election?

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 5, 2003

Nearly four years ago, Mississippi voters saw headline after headline wondering who would be the next governor of the state.

Although Ronnie Musgrove had won the popular vote, neither he nor Mike Parker won enough votes for a majority &045; which a candidate need, according to the archaic state constitution, in order to win.

So we waited until Jan. 4, when the Democratic-controlled Legislature voted per state law, to have an official winner in the race. It was more or less a foregone conclusion, since Democrats for the most part voted for Musgrove.

Email newsletter signup

The spoilers &045; depending on your view &045; in that race were two lesser-known minor party candidates who took just enough vote in a close election to prevent a clear winner.

And with Parker refusing to concede, we had to wait two more months for a governor.

This year, we could face a similar situation. A poll released last weekend showed Haley Barbour leading with 50 percent of the vote, although Musgrove has 45 percent. That could be close enough &045; especially with several third-party candidates &045; to warrant a repeat of that infamous election.

That’s in part because the Legislature did nothing to fix the electoral problem that caused the turmoil in the first place.

We hope the &uot;losing&uot; candidate &045; if we wind up in that unfortunate situation again &045; will be gracious enough not to put Mississippi through that same tension.