Evans defeats Aycox in primary

By DEMETRIUS THOMPSON,

The final Newton County results for last Tuesday’s primaries were similar to the statewide totals.  After all affidavit votes were counted last week for the Democratic U.S. House District 3 primary, state Rep. Michael T. Evans (District 45) won 382 votes, taking the victory over Newton native and U.S. Navy veteran Michael Aycox who finished with 285 votes. With 100 percent of the District 3 precincts reporting, the overall totals for both candidates were 16,478 votes (69.07 percent) for Evans and 7,378 votes (30.93 percent) for Aycox.

Aycox held an election night party at Zack Garvin’s Original Steak House in his hometown and gave his concession speech before 10 p.m.

Aycox urged his supporters to continue to fight for the ideals his campaign promoted.

“From state laws that promote hate and discrimination, to the absence of a representative who fights for their people – Mississippians’ voices had been forgotten,” Aycox said. “So, as I no longer hold the title of ‘candidate’ and only a citizen, I must demand form whomever succeeds in November. Party politics have played an incredibly unfortunate role in dividing Mississippians. Republicans and Democrats must find common ground for our people. A unified Mississippi is an unstoppable force, and it can be unified again. But we need a leader.”

Evans’ district includes Kemper, Lauderdale, Neshoba and Winston counties.

In the Newton County totals for the Republican U.S. House District 3 primary, Michael Guest led the way with 654 votes, with Whit Hughes second with 444 votes. Perry Parker followed with 346 votes, Morgan Dunn had 212 votes, Sally Doty had 150 votes and Katherine “Bitzi” Tate finished with 17 votes.

Guest and Hughes were also the top vote getters across the district with Guest finishing with 28,720 votes (44.84 percent) and Hughes with 14,250 votes (22.25 percent), followed by Parker with 10,317 votes, Doty with 6,531 votes, Dunn with 3,767 votes and Tate with 405 votes. Because no candidate got more than 50 percent of the total vote, Guest and Hughes will move on to a runoff on June 26 and the winner will face Evans in November for the seat that is being vacated by Gregg Harper.

In the Republican U.S. Senate primary, incumbent Roger Wicker coasted to an easy victory with 1,440 votes (80.45 percent) of the Newton County vote against challenger R. Warren Boyanton who finished with 349 votes (19.5 percent. Wicker’s statewide victory was even bigger with him capturing 128,309 votes (82.77 percent) to Boyanton’s 26,713 votes (17.23 percent).

In the Democratic U.S. Senate primary, Meridian businessman Howard Sherman and husband of actress Sela Ward, led the Newton County totals with 318 votes (48.55 percent) with Omeria Scott with 138 votes (21.07 percent), and state Rep. David Baria  (District 122) with 120 votes (18.32 percent). Victor G. Maurice Jr. followed with 32 votes, Jerone Garland had 31 votes and Jensen Garland with 16 votes.

Statewide, Sherman just edged past Baria with 27,358 votes (31.92 percent) to 26,568 votes (31 percent) with Scott finishing with 20,642 votes (24.08 percent). Maurice finished with 4,223 votes, Garland had 4,142 votes and Bohren had 2,776 votes.

Sherman and Baria will head to a run-off on June 26 to decide who will face Wicker in November. 

In the U.S. House District 1 race, Republican incumbent and Union native Trent Kelly ran unopposed and will face Democrat Randy Wadkins, who also ran unopposed, in November. Longtime Democrat U.S. District 2 Rep. Bennie Thompson was reelected and will have no Republican challenger. In U.S. District 4, Republican incumbent Steven Palazzo easily won the primary against challenger Brian Rose with 70.51 percent of the vote. Palazzo will face Democrat Jeramey Anderson, who ran unopposed, in November.