Hosemann wins spirited Miss. LG primary

The incumbent faced a challenge from state Sen. Chris McDaniel.
Republican Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann speaks to reporters after voting in the party primary at his precinct in Jackson, Miss., Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2023. Hosemann who is seeking reelection, faces two opponents in the party primary. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Mississippi Lt. Gov Delbert Hosemann (R) defeated state Sen. Chris McDaniel (R) in a hotly contested primary campaign on Tuesday, turning back McDaniel’s latest attempt to knock off an incumbent Republican.

With an estimated 92% of the vote counted, Hosemann leads McDaniel 52% to 43%.

McDaniel attacked Hosemann throughout the primary campaign, accusing him of being insufficiently conservative, pro-abortion and too willing to work with Democrats. Hosemann, in turn, accused McDaniel of being “a pathological liar and a coward.”

It is McDaniel’s third statewide loss, after coming up short in a 2014 primary challenge to then-U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran (R) and a 2019 special election for U.S. Senate.

Hosemann was first elected lieutenant governor in 2019 after serving three terms as secretary of state. He is now heavily favored for re-election in November against small business owner Ryan Grover (D).

It’s been 20 years since a Democrat last served as Mississippi’s governor, but Democrats hope the race between Gov. Tate Reeves (R) and Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley (D), who was unopposed in the primary, will be competitive.

Reeves is running on his record as governor and accusing Presley of being a radical liberal. He’s touting Mississippi’s growing economy, quick reopening during the Covid-19 pandemic, and new laws limiting the rights of transgender people.

Presley, a conservative Democrat who grew up poor in a small, rural town, wants to reduce grocery taxes and car tag fees, expand Medicaid, and fight corruption. Presley alleges that when Reeves served as lieutenant governor, he was involved in misspending millions of welfare dollars.