1 Mississippi Senate race decided, 1 going to a runoff



JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A former Mississippi state senator appears to have reclaimed the seat he once held.

Unofficial results show Kelvin Butler received more than half the votes in Tuesday’s special election in Senate District 38, which has all of Wilkinson County and parts of Adams, Amite, Pike and Walthall counties in the southwestern corner of the state.

Butler had 2,491 votes to Gary Brumfield’s 2,298, according to election commissioners and circuit clerks’ employees. Some affidavit ballots were still being counted Wednesday.

“I want you to know that I am dedicated to serving you,” Butler wrote Wednesday on Facebook. “When we work together, not as political parties or favorites, but as members of our communities, we can accomplish greater heights of success for Mississippi.”

Butler served 12 years in the Mississippi Senate before running for Pike County chancery clerk in 2015. He ran for the Senate again in 2019 but was defeated by fellow Democrat Tammy Witherspoon, who had won the Senate seat in 2015. Butler resigned from the Senate during the summer to become mayor of Magnolia.

A special election to fill the state Senate District 32 seat will be decided in a Nov. 23 runoff. WTOK-TV reported that Rob Hickman and Dr. Minh Duong were the top two finishers in a nine-person race.

District 32 includes all of Kemper County and parts of Lauderdale, Noxubee and Winston counties in eastern Mississippi. Democratic Sen. Sampson Jackson stepped down June 30, saying he was ready to retire after a long career in state government.

Candidates in Mississippi special elections run without party labels. The two special elections will not change the balance of power in the 52-member Senate, where Republicans already hold a wide majority. The four-year legislative term expires in early 2024.

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