South Mississippians will vote on November 8th to fill the State Supreme Court seat vacated when Justice Randy Pierce resigned in February of this year (2016). Governor Phil Bryant appointed Dawn H. Beam to fill the seat until a replacement could be elected.
- Hattiesburg American: 2 vie for Mississippi Supreme Court District 2 seat
- Ballotpedia Information: Dawn H. Beam
- Ballotpedia Information: Michael T. Shareef
- Mississippi Supreme Court Elections, 2016
- Clarion-Ledger: Pierce resigning from state Supreme Court
Four candidates are vying for the 4th Congressional District seat currently held by Rep. Steven Palazzo (R): Palazzo (R), Mark Dey Gladney (D), Richard “Ric” McCluskey (L), and Shawn O’Hara (Reform).
AFA Action provides a fairly comprehensive guide to the issues and positions of each candidate HERE although incumbent Rep. Palazzo didn’t respond to the survey.
Each candidates positions can be researched at their campaign websites listed below:
The 2016 General Election is November 8th. Mississippi Gulf Coast voters vote for a variety of other positions:
- U.S. President
- Mississippi’s 4th Congressional District
- Southern District of the State Supreme Court
- Court of Appeals
- Election Commissioner
- School Board
To find where to vote and see who is on the ballot, visit the Mississippi Secretary of State’s Polling Place Locator.
While Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton consume the news cycle, there are several other candidates running for election and on the ballot in Mississippi. Those candidates and links to their campaign websites are listed below:
- Darrell Castle (Constitution Party)
- ‘Rocky’ Roque De La Fuenta (American Delta Party)
- Jim Hedges (Prohibition Party)
- Gary Johnson (Libertarian Party)
- Jill Stein (Green Party)
A screenshot of the 2016 Values Voter guide is below and documents many of the positions of Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton. See the entire guide at FRC Action.
Countless other voter guides are available online. Below are links to a few:
- AFA Action
- Conservative Review
- Washington Post (Interactive)
- Washington Examiner
Facing a $75 million shortfall in the state budget, Gov. Bryant called a special session to dip into the state’s rainy day fund to cover the deficit. After much grandstanding, the legislature authorized the governor to pull from the $349 million fund to balance the state’s $6.2 billion fiscal 2016 budget.
After years of demanding that the rainy-day fund only be used to pay one-time costs, Republicans are dipping into the fund for a second time within a year. And this after a year of corporate giveaways and borrowing money to do so. Katherine DeCoito makes the observation that, at this rate, the politicians are incentivized to make every year a “rainy day”–at least until the state is bankrupt–and they can no longer bail themselves out.
Geoff Pender further illustrates the absurdity of the legislative session which cost taxpayers $102,000 which would be comical if it wasn’t so pitiful. Our legislators, Democrat and Republican, apparently think they are playing with “Monopoly” money. Unfortunately, it is not.
- House approves rainy day fund spending, ends session
- Pender: The special session certainly was special
- Katherine DeCoito:
- AFP-MS: Legislature should not rush into ‘economic development’ projects
U.S. District Court Judge Carlton W. Reeves blocked House Bill 1523 from going into effect following the state legislature’s passage during the 2016 Legislative Session. Under the bill, businesses would have been allowed to deny services based on sincerely held religious beliefs without facing reciprocity from the state. Individuals would still be able to bring suit against such businesses but the state would remain neutral.
Judge Reeves’ injunction asserts that the law violates the U.S. Constitution in two places:
- The First Amendment by “establish[ing] an official preference for certain religious beliefs over others,” and
- The Fourteenth Amendment by explicitly favoring “anti-LGBTG religious beliefs” and providing adherents to those beliefs a special right to discriminate that is not available to others.
Mississippi’s Attorney General Jim Hood believes the federal court ruling was clear and does not expect to appeal. No other officials’ comments were available.
This is not the first time Judge Reeves has ruled on religious freedom issues. In July 2015, he issued a court order to prevent Rankin County School District (RCSD) from including any religious activities at school sponsored events. After receiving a $7,500 fine after failing to satisfactorily comply with the court order, the RCSD prevented the Brandon High School Band from playing “How Great Thou Art” during a halftime show fearing that such an act would violate the court order and subject the district to additional fines.
Although born in Texas, Reeves grew up in Yazoo City and was appointed to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi by President Obama in 2010.
- Judge Carlton Reeves’ CSE vs. Barber Order
- Judge blocks controversial Mississippi law
- Judge Hands Sweeping, Stinging Defeat to Mississippi’s Anti-LGBTQ Law from Taking Effect
- Mississippi AG: Churchgoing public was duped on HB 1523
- MS News Now: “Brandon High School Band pulled from halftime performance”
Family Research Council published their 2016 Presidential Candidate Voter Guide. A snapshot of the “Values Voter Presidential Voter Guide” details both Republican and Democrat candidates’ positions on marriage, abortion, religious liberty, and other contemporary issues. A snapshot of the guide is provided below but the entire guide, with an exhaustive reference list, is available on the FRC website.
The Presidential Voters Guide above was last updated by FRC on 7 March 2016. FRC updates their website and candidate information becomes known and as candidates drop out of the race.
Tuesday, March 8th is Mississippi’s opportunity to choose who they want representing them in the November General Election. Both Republicans and Democrats hold their primaries on the same day and, since Mississippi is an “open” state, anyone can vote for either party.
While both the Democrat and Republican parties have had many contenders drop from their respective primary races, many will still be listed on the ballots. For the Democrats, the ballot will have the following:
- Hillary Clinton*
- Roque ‘Rocky’ De La Fuente
- Martin O’Malley
- Bernie Sanders*
- Willie Wilson
The Republicans have reduced the number actively campaigning to four but the list of names on the Mississippi ballot also remains lengthy:
- Jeb Bush
- Ben Carson
- Chris Christie
- Ted Cruz*
- Carly Fiorina
- Lindsey Graham
- Mike Huckabee
- John R. Kasich*
- George Pataki
- Rand Paul
- Marco Rubio*
- Rick Santorum
- Donald J. Trump*
Asterisks indicate those candidates with active campaigns.
In addition to the widely publicized Presidential Primaries, South Mississippi will also be selecting their choice to represent the respective parties for the U.S. House of Representatives 4th Congressional District. Incumbent Rep. Steven Palazzo is running unopposed for the Republican ticket while Democrat Mark Gladney is running unopposed to challenge Palazzo in November.
To see a sample of your ballot and find your polling place, visit the Secretary of State’s Polling Place Locator.
Under House Bill 1523, State officials, private business owners,and others who provide services to the public couldn’t be punished for acting on deeply held religious beliefs. The bill specifically protects individuals and organizations for acting upon the following “religious beliefs or moral convictions:”
- Marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman.
- Sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage.
- Male (man) or female (woman) refer to an individual’s immutable biological sex as objectively determined by anatomy and genetics at time of birth.
The bill would prevent the state government from taking any legal action against any religious organization, state employees, or other persons for acting in a manner consistent with these beliefs.
- House Bill 1523: Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act
- Clarion-Ledger: Mississippi House bill supports union of man, woman
- Human Rights Campaign: Discriminatory “Religious Liberty Accomodations Act” Passes Mississippi House
- SFGate: Mississippi bill: OK to not help with same-sex marriage