Mississippi’s qualifying period opens for candidates running for federal office

Qualifying period for statewide elections begins

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - It may feel like you just cast a ballot for Cindy Hyde-Smith or Mike Espy. Frankly, you did. It was November of 2018. That’s because they were running to fill the remainder of Thad Cochran’s term. This time? They are seeking a full six year term.

“Maybe people are not quite ready for it yet but they’re about to get hit right between the eyes with lots of political ads,” said Mississippi College Associate Professor in the Department of History and Political Science Dr. Glenn J. Antizzo.

It can’t be ignored that the presidential race will be at the top of the ballot. And analysts agree it will impact these down ticket races.

“The President’s favorability ratings, the President’s un-favorability ratings with some who are Democrats who don’t like him will really matter in this race," said Republican analyst Austin Barbour. "He’s going to drive turnout in Mississippi.”

And Hyde-Smith is playing up her connection to the White House.

“She’s got a voting record that mirrors what the President’s agenda has been on policy issues that matter to most Mississippians,” added Barbour.

“If you look at the state races that we just had, most people that aligned themselves with the President...won,” noted Antizzo.

Dr. Glenn Antizzo expects Espy will have an uphill battle.

“What he’s going to have to do is try to convince Mississippians that if that even if they do elect him, he will not be beholden to the Democrat leadership in the Senate,” said Antizzo.

But in November, Espy said he thinks it’s possible.

“So, we spent all summer really looking at what we can do better and I know what it is now.”

That being said, Antizzo expects most folks to vote along party lines.

“It will be, as it is in many races, very tribal," he said. "What I mean by that is that you basically have two teams..team Republican and team Democrat. People like to stick with their team.”

The qualifying period runs from January 2-10. Hyde-Smith plans to file her qualifying papers Friday and Espy will likely file next week.

We will keep you posted on whether anyone else officially throws their name in the ring.

You’ll also be voting for a U-S House Representative for your district. All the incumbents are expected to run for re-election. The primary election is March 10.

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