Sample ballots are ready
Iowa is getting the current national publicity, but Mississippi also will have a presidential primary in about six weeks.
The sample ballots for the March 10 Democratic and Republican primaries for president, four congressional seats and one Senate seat are complete and can be viewed on the Secretary of State’s web site.
Our primary is unlikely to have as much influence on selecting presidential nominees as some other states, due to our relatively small number of voters and also to the late date of our primaries.
Iowa, as usual, will hold the year’s first presidential nominating contest, it’s caucuses set for Feb. 3. This will be followed by February contests in the other traditionally early voting states of New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina.
Super Tuesday follows on March 3. with 15 states, including the big ones of California and Texas, as well as our neighboring states of Alabama, Arkansas and Tennessee voting.
Mississippi probably should have joined that group, but at least we’re getting ahead of Louisiana which has its primaries April 4.
The Democratic primary will be the most interesting in Mississippi, as it is a foregone conclusion that President Donald J. Trump will win the Republican primary as well as Mississippi’s six electoral votes in November.
Even if a miracle occurs and the Senate votes to convict Trump on the impeachment charges, he’ll still win Mississippi.
The president does have GOP primary opponents on the Mississippi ballot, however: Roque 'Rocky' De La Fuente and Bill Weld.
De La Fuente, described in a Los Angeles Times opinion piece as a “rich San Diego car dealer and perpetual losing candidate,” has run in Senate primaries in at least nine states, sometimes as a Democrat and sometimes a Republican. Four years ago, he ran for president on the Reform Party ticket.
I have long wondered why people like De La Fuente are always running for offices that they have no chance of winning, but there’s never in shortage of them.
Weld, a former Massachusetts governor, is a serious candidate, but he is gaining no traction against Trump, certainly not in Mississippi.
All the likely Democratic nominees and then some are on the Mississippi ballot: Joseph R. Biden, Michael R. Bloomberg, Pete Buttigieg, Tulsi Gabbard, Amy Klobuchar, Deval Patrick, Bernie Sanders, Tom Steyer, Elizabeth Warren and Andrew Yang.
In the congressional races, Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith is without Republican opposition and likely will face a repeat contest with Democrat Mike Espy in November. Espy does have a couple of primary opponents he will probably defeat in the first primary.
First District U.S. Rep. Trent Kelly is the only one of Mississippi’s four House members without primary opposition, but he does face Democratic opposition in November in the first Democratic Socialist I recall running for office in Mississippi.
Antonia Eliason, an Ole Miss law professor and, like presidential candidate Bernie Sanders an avowed Democratic Socialist, is probably the most unusual candidate in the race by traditional Mississippi standards.
Also, I might add, most likely to lose.
According to the Oxford Eagle, Eliason joined the Ole Miss law school faculty in 2013, teaching International Trade Law, International Investment Law, Contracts, EU Law, the Law of Armed Conflict and Law and Science Fiction. Her research focuses on international trade law, particularly issues relating to sustainable development, trade facilitation and the environment, as well as international investment law and Roma rights.
Prior to coming to Mississippi, Eliason practiced law in London for nearly five years. Her press release says Eliason was approached to run in this year’s election by “young people in the district looking for progressive representation.”
I'll be interested to see how many of those young people show up at the polls next November.