Biden wins Adams County and Mississippi in Tuesday primary

Published 9:35 pm Tuesday, March 10, 2020

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NATCHEZ — Approximately 5,500 Adams County voters cast their ballots in the 2020 Mississippi Presidential Primary Tuesday with the overwhelming majority of Democrats voting for Joseph R. Biden and Republicans for Donald J. Trump.

According to preliminary results, Biden won Adams County with a total of 3,223 votes, or 83% of the Democratic vote in Adams County to Bernie Sanders’ 468 votes or 12% of the Democratic vote.

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In the U.S. Senate race, 94.8% of Adams County Democrats voted for Mike Espy, 3% for Tobey Bernard Bartee and 1.9% for Jensen Bohren.

Dorothy “Dot” Benford garnered 1,992 votes or 62.6% to Katelyn Lee’s 1,173 or 36.8% in the 3rd Congressional District race.

On the Republican ballot, Trump won a little more than 1,600 votes or 98.5% of Republican votes in Adams County and 82% voted for Michael Guest to James Tulp’s 17.5% in the 3rd Congressional District race.

Below is how the state voted in Tuesday’s primaries to choose nominees for U.S. President, a U.S. Senate seat and four congressional seats:


A majority of Democratic primary voters in Mississippi were African American, and Biden won them 75% to Sanders’ 15%. Biden also led among white voters, across age groups, education levels and ideologies. He was called the winner by The Associated Press.

Mississippi voters wanted a nominee that cares about people like them. Voters there ranked that as big a priority as selecting a candidate who can beat Trump and exhibit strong leadership. About 9 in 10 primary voters in Mississippi said each of the three qualities was very important in a Democratic nominee, and Biden overwhelmingly won the support of those voters.

Health care was named the most important issue by about 40% of voters, but roughly a quarter pointed to the economy. About 30% of voters overall described their families as “falling behind” financially, compared with 60% who said they are holding steady and just about 10% “getting ahead.”

Biden was thought to be the candidate best able to handle health care, as well as issues related to race.

About two-thirds of Mississippi voters expressed support for government-paid reparations to African Americans for slavery and racial discrimination, but there was a significant divide by race. About 75% of black voters expressed support, compared with about 40% white voters.


Mike Espy won the Democratic nomination Tuesday, easily defeating two challengers to face Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith and Libertarian candidate Jimmy Edwards in November.

Hyde-Smith is an ally of President Donald Trump. She was appointed to serve temporarily when Republican Thad Cochran retired in early 2018. In November 2018, Hyde-Smith defeated Espy in a hard-fought special election to occupy Cochran’s seat for the remaining two years of the six-year term. Espy is a former congressman who served as U.S. agriculture secretary in the 1990s. Espy defeated two candidates in the Democratic primary: Tobey Bernard Bartee and Jensen Bohren.

Bartee is a former military intelligence officer who was eliminated in the first round of voting in the 2018 special election for Senate.

Bohren is a former teacher who unsuccessfully challenged Republican U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker in 2018.


Republican U.S. Rep. Trent Kelly will face Democratic challenger Antonia Eliason in November in north Mississippi’s 1st Congressional District. Neither had opposition in the primary on Tuesday. Kelly is a former district attorney and has been in the House since he won a 2015 special election. Eliason is a law professor at the University of Mississippi.


The chairman of the U.S. House Homeland Security Committee easily won the Democratic primary.

Rep. Bennie Thompson defeated Sonia Rathburn, who owns a chiropractic business.

The two competed in the state’s 2nd Congressional District, which stretches along the Mississippi River, through the Delta and into Jackson.

Thompson has been in Washington since winning a special election in 1993. He is the longest-serving member of Mississippi’s current congressional delegation. He is also the only Democrat and the only African American representing the state on Capitol Hill. Thompson will face a Republican in November.

Three candidates are running in the Republican primary. Thomas L. Carey is a retired real estate agent who ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Senate in 2014. Brian Flowers is a military veteran who works at Grand Gulf Nuclear Station. B.C. Hammond is a volunteer firefighter and has run unsuccessfully for state legislative seats.


Republican U.S. Rep. Michael Guest won his party primary in central Mississippi’s 3rd Congressional District.

He defeated radio talk show host James Tulp. Guest is a former district attorney who was first elected to the House in 2018.

He will face Dorothy “Dot” Benford, who won the Democratic primary after defeating first-time candidate Katelyn Lee. Benford has run unsuccessfully for several offices.


A Republican congressman has defeated three party primary challengers in south Mississippi’s 4th Congressional District.

U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo is reelected because he faces no opponent in the November general election. Palazzo was first elected to the House in 2010.

On Tuesday, he defeated Carl Boyanton, Robert L. Deming III and Samuel Hickman. Boyanton is the former owner of a produce business. Deming is a Biloxi City Council member. Hickman worked for U.S. Rep. Trent Kelly in north Mississippi’s 1st District.