GULFPORT, Miss. (AP) — Voters in south Mississippi have filled an empty seat in the state House of Representatives.

Military veteran Jeffrey Hulum III won a special election Tuesday in House District 119 in Harrison County. He defeated Gary Fredericks, president of the Gulfport branch of the NAACP.

Candidates run without party labels in Mississippi special elections, but Hulum and Fredericks both previously ran for office as Democrats.

Hulum will finish the four-year term that expires in January 2024. He succeeds Democrat Sonya Williams-Barnes of Gulfport, who resigned in May to become Mississippi policy director for the Southern Poverty Law Center. Williams-Barnes had served since January 2012.

Hulum unsuccessfully challenged Williams-Barnes in the 2019 Democratic primary.

Republicans hold a majority in the 122-member House. The Legislature is next scheduled to meet when the regular session begins in January.