2015 Candidates Southern Public Service Commission

Current Southern Public Service Commissioner R. Stephen Renfroe will not be seeking to return to the office in the 2015 election. Renfroe was appointed to the position in 2013 by Gov. Phil Bryant to replace Leonard Bentz who left to office to become the executive director of the Southern Mississippi Planning and Development District.

Four candidates have qualified for the position. Republicans Sam Britton, Mike Collier, and Tony Smith will face-off in a primary on August 2nd. Britton is the Manager Director of the McLean Group‘s Hattiesburg Office. Collier was the 2011 Democratic candidate for the same position and lost to eventual winner Leonard Bentz. Smith is a small business owner and currently serves as the District 47 state Senator.

Tom Blanton is the only Democrat and will face the winner of the Republican primary in the November 4th general election.  Blanton lost in the 2011 Democrat primary to Collier for the Southern PSC seat.

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2015 Gulf Coast Candidates for State Senate

The following have qualified for candidacy in the 2o15 election for the Mississippi Senate. Only the Gulf Coast region is represented. For a complete list see Empower Mississippi‘s tabulation for the entire state.

District 40 (Pearl River): Incumbent Angela Hill (R) is uncontested.

District 45 (Forrest): Incumbent Billy Hudson (R) is uncontested.

District 46 (Hancock): Incumbent Philip E. Moran (R) is uncontested.

District 47 (Harrison/Jackson/Pearl River/Stone): With Sen. Tony Smith qualifying to run for the Public Service Commission Southern District, three candidates have qualified to replace him:

  • Jimmy L. “Bo” Alawine (D)
  • Rogena Mitchell (R)
  • Joseph M. “Mike” Seymore (R)

District 48 (Harrison):

  • Incumbent: Deborah Dawkins (D)
  • Joseph B. Piernas, Sr. (D)
  • Walter Crapps (R)

District 49 (Harrison):

  • Incumbent: Sean Tindell (R)
  • Katherine DeCoito (R)

District 50 (Harrison): Incumbent Tommy Gollott is uncontested.

District 51 (Jackson County):

  • Incumbent Michael D. Watson, Jr. (R)
  • Butch Loper (R)

Alisha Nelson McElhenney had qualified for the District 51 seat but switched her candidacy to the Lieutenant Governor seat following Watson’s announcement.

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McDaniel has made waves in Senate

Bobby Harrison wrote a background article on state Sen. Chris McDaniel in October 2013 for the Daily Journal.  The article, McDaniel has made waves in Senate, provides a glimpse into McDaniel’s stances and history as a state Senator.

Miss. Senate confirms pro-Common Core Superintendent

The Miss. Senate confirmed Carey Wright as the State Superintendent of Education on March 19th despite her support for Common Core.  Common Core is a national educational curriculum and standard promoted by the Obama Administration.  The Senate voted 46-6 to confirm Wright.

The Mississippi State Board of Education approved Common Core-aligned curricula in February.  The standards were adopted in 2010 but 2014-2015 school year will be the first year that the curriculum and testing aligned with them.

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