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Mississippi voters are choosing nominees in party runoffs

August 26, 2019
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Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, left, laughs as his GOP gubernatorial runoff opponent former Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice Bill Waller Jr., makes a comment prior to their televised debate in Jackson, Miss., Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2019. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
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Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, left, laughs as his GOP gubernatorial runoff opponent former Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice Bill Waller Jr., makes a comment prior to their televised debate in Jackson, Miss., Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2019. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi voters will decide the outcome of party primary runoffs Tuesday, setting the November ballot for governor and other races.

Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves and retired Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Bill Waller Jr. are competing for the Republican nomination for governor. The winner will face Democratic Attorney General Jim Hood, the Constitution Party’s Bob Hickingbottom and independent candidate David Singletary in the general election.

In the attorney general’s race, state Treasurer Lynn Fitch and former gubernatorial chief of staff Andy Taggart are in Tuesday’s Republican runoff. The winner will advance to the general election to face Democrat Jennifer Riley Collins, who is a military veteran and former director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Mississippi.

Runoffs will also determine the Republican nominee for northern district transportation commissioner, the Democratic nominee for central district public service commissioner and nominees for several legislative seats and county offices.

Polls are open 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday, and voters must show a driver’s license or other government-issued photo identification.

People who voted in one party’s primary Aug. 6 are prohibited from voting in the other party’s runoff Tuesday. Those who did not vote Aug. 6 may vote in either party’s runoff.

Mississippi, Louisiana and Kentucky are the only states electing a governor this year, and Mississippi has the only race without an incumbent. Republican Gov. Phil Bryant is limited to two terms, and he is endorsing Reeves.

Waller is endorsed by state Rep. Robert Foster, who was eliminated from the three-person Republican gubernatorial race Aug. 6.

Hood easily defeated seven candidates that day in the Democratic primary. He is trying to become his party’s first Mississippi governor since Democrat Ronnie Musgrove was unseated in the 2003 election after a single term in office.

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Follow Emily Wagster Pettus: http://twitter.com/EWagsterPettus .

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