Sunday Focus: Who are candidates on Nov. 6 ballot?

Published 12:00 am Sunday, October 21, 2018

NATCHEZ — The Nov. 6 general election is a little more than two weeks away when voters will go to the polls to cast votes in several races in Adams County, including:

  • Mississippi’s two U.S. Senate seats
  • U.S. House of Representatives 3rd Congressional District seat
  • Circuit Court Judge positions in district 6-1 and district 6-2
  • Southern District Supreme Court District 2 Position 1
  • Court of Appeals District 4 Position 2, and
  • Chancery Court Judge seats in District 17-1 and 17-2

Candidates for the House of Representatives and one of two U.S. Senate seats — the one currently held by Roger Wicker, R-Miss. — ran in party primary elections in June and will face independent candidates in the Nov. 6 general election.

The race to fill the unexpired term of former U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., who resigned in March for health reasons, did not have party primaries and four candidates are vying to fill the position in a special election that will be on the Nov. 6 general election.

Email newsletter signup

Judge positions are non-partisan and candidates will be on the ballot for the first time in the Nov. 6 general election.

The only contested race in any of the judge positions on ballots in Adams County, however, is for Court of Appeals District 4 Position 2 in which three candidates are contending.

Today, The Natchez Democrat is profiling candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives 3rd Congressional District seat being vacated by Gregg Harper, R-Miss., who did not seek re-election.

In subsequent Sunday Focus stories, The Democrat will profile U.S. Senate candidates and candidates in Court of Appeals District 4 Position 2 race who will be on the Nov. 6 general election ballots in Adams County.

U.S. House of Representatives 3rd Congressional District candidates

Michael T. Evans

State Rep. Michael T. Evans, D-Preston, is the Democratic Party candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives 3rd Congressional District seat being vacated by Harper.

Evans, 43, a retired fire chief and poultry farmer, has served in the state Legislature since 2012 and said he believes his background has prepared him to represent Mississippians in Washington, D.C.

“I relate more to the people of Mississippi,” Evans said. “I’m a working man’s man.”

The 3rd U.S. Congressional district consists mostly of rural counties with the largest cities being Natchez, Pearl, Meridian and Starkville.

Evans said he believes the people of Adams County need a direct means of communicating with their representative.

“The first thing we would do is get a congressional office,” Evans said. “We’re going to put an office down there where the people can get assistance on the issues they need. Natchez has not had a congressman in the last 50 years, so y’all get left out.”

In addition, Evans said health care in rural areas is a top priority for him, and he wants to help hospitals that are struggling.

“It’s hard for rural hospitals to keep their doors open, while areas such as Jackson thrive,” Evans said. “The rural hospitals are suffering because the state cannot expand Medicaid, and they’ve sent the money back to Washington. My rural hospital is on the verge of shutting down. We’ve lost three this year because they can’t afford to keep the doors open.”

Evans said, if elected, he would work with other members of Congress to see that Medicaid is expanded in Mississippi.

“Personally, I think they need to fix the Affordable Care Act so people can afford it or can get help,” Evans said. “You’ve got some paying $30 or $40 for it and others paying $1,200. They’ve got to fix it so everyone can afford the health insurance.”

Failing roads and bridges are among the top issues Evans wants to address.

“The state Legislature is not going to appropriate funding, so we need to get it from the federal government,” Evans said.

A lack of Internet access in rural areas is another problem Evans is eager to tackle. “There’s money out there for rural areas of Mississippi to have broadband,” Evans said. “And I’m going out there to get it.”

Michael Guest

Michael Guest, who grew up in Brandon, currently serves as the District Attorney for Madison and Rankin counties is the Republican Party candidate for the 3rd Congressional District U.S. House of Representative’s seat.

“For the last 23 years I’ve had the opportunity to serve the people of Mississippi,” Guest said. “I’ve worked with law enforcement … People have different views and different opinions on how things should be done. … I’ve been to the other side. I believe I can work with our lawmakers effectively.”

Guest said he believes least four issues are relevant to Mississippi — including the Natchez-Adams community — that he hopes to resolve in Congress if he is elected.

“No. 1 is immigration reform,” Guest said. “I believe we need to secure our southwest border to reduce the availability of drugs on our streets. … Most of the street drugs you see are not manufactured here.”

Guest said he is an advocate for more immigration to the United States, but legally.

“I’d like to see more workers in our agriculture industry and expand it out into construction,” Guest said. “There is a need for laborers. … I’d like to see a larger number of people outside of our country legally come into our country for work.”

Guest said he believes Mississippi’s infrastructure is another issue that he can work to resolve in Congress.

“Our infrastructure is in a state of disrepair,” Guest said. “We need to see more money put back into the state and appropriated so we can tackle that issue.”

Guest said he also plans to perform his congressional duty to see Mississippi’s farming community continue to thrive.

“Our farm bill has expired,” Guest said, “and agriculture is a huge part of our community. … We need to make sure that bill is active and going.”

Lastly, Guest said he hopes to assist Mississippi in developing more rural hospitals.

“We need to balance our needs and continue funding for rural hospitals,” Guest said. “We need immediate availability for emergency care in these rural areas. … Many hospitals in our rural counties also provide an economic benefit.”

Guest said his plan of action involves finding the right voices to move his vision for Mississippi forward.

“The first step would be to reach out to other like-minded conservatives,” he said. “I believe we can get people involved in the discussion and resolve some of these problems.”

Matthew Holland

Matthew Holland is the Reform Party candidate for the 3rd Congressional U.S. House of Representatives seat.

Holland could not be located for an interview for this story and no information about his candidacy was available.

The Mississippi Secretary of State’s policy does not allow the office to release personal information on candidates who have filed paperwork with the office, a spokesperson said.

Below is a complete list of races and candidates who will be on the Nov. 6 general election ballots in Adams County:

For U.S. Senate:

  • Incumbent U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss, will face David Baria, who won the Democratic Party’s nomination in June primaries; Libertarian candidate Danny Bedwell; and Reform Party candidate Shawn O’Hara.
  • U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., resigned his long-held Senate seat in March and Gov. Phil Bryant appointed Cindy Hyde-Smith, Rep.-Brookhaven, to fill his unexpired term.

A special election to fill the vacancy is on the Nov. 6 ballots, and Hyde-Smith is running for the seat. Challengers did not have to win party primaries and the contenders on the Nov. 6 general election ballots are Tobey Bernard Bartee, Mike Espy and Chris McDaniel.

  • For the U.S. House of Representatives 3rd Congressional District seat: Michael Ted

Evans, who won the Democratic Party primary in June; Michael Guest, who won the Republican Party primary in June; and Reform Party candidate Matthew Holland.

Judge seats

(All judge positions are nonpartisan)

  • For Southern District Supreme Court District 2 Position 1: David M. Ishee is running unopposed
  • For Court of Appeals District 4 Position 2: Byron Carter, David McCarty and Jeff Weill Sr.
  • For Chancery Court Judge District 17-1: E. Vincent Davis is running unopposed
  • For Chancery Court Judge District 17-2: George Ward is running unopposed
  • For Circuit Court Judge District 6-1: Lillie Blackmon Sanders is running unopposed
  • For Circuit Court Judge District 6-2: Debra Blackwell is running unopposed after her opponent Holmes Sturgeon died unexpectedly of health issues earlier this month
  • For County Court Judge: Walt Brown is running unopposed