HomeoldThe 2023 Elections: Overview of the Mississippi Primary Elections on August 8th

The 2023 Elections: Overview of the Mississippi Primary Elections on August 8th

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On Tuesday, 8 August, Mississippi will hold its primary election, the state in which the landmark Dobbs vs. Jackson case originated. The ballot includes a number of important statewide offices, including governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general. It is of the utmost importance that these offices remain in the hands of those who are pro-life, as Mississippi wishes to remain one of the most protective states in the nation with regard to unborn babies and their mothers.

The incumbent Governor, Tate Reeves, the Lieutenant Governor, Delbert Hosemann, and the Attorney General, Lynn Fitch, are all pro-life Republicans and are running for re-election. Governor Reeves, who has enacted numerous protections for unborn children and their mothers, is widely expected to secure a primary victory. Attorney General Fitch, whose office initiated the Dobbs case before the Supreme Court, is running unopposed. Nevertheless, the contest for the position of lieutenant governor is believed to have narrowed in recent weeks.

Lt. Gov. Hosemann is facing a primary challenge from Chris McDaniel, a state senator and former talk radio host who has also run for U.S. Senate in 2014 and 2018. In both instances, he challenged Republican incumbents. A Mississippi Today/Siena College poll of likely Republican primary voters conducted in June revealed that Hosemann received 47% of the vote, while McDaniel garnered 32%. Twenty-one percent of respondents indicated that they were undecided or declined to answer. In order to avoid a runoff election, the candidate who receives the majority of votes must secure a 50% threshold. The race took an unfortunate turn when McDaniel made false accusations against Hosemann, claiming that he had ties to a facility that performed abortions. These claims have been thoroughly debunked.

In their campaign advertisements, speeches, social media posts and interviews, state Senator Chris McDaniel and his campaign surrogates have linked Lieutenant Governor Delbert Hosemann to the South Jackson Women’s Clinic, claiming that he was in charge of it at a time when it was performing abortions. However, the physician who directed the clinic stated that abortions were not performed at the facility until after Hosemann ceased providing legal services there, as reported by the Associated Press (AP).

Despite the last-minute smear campaign and false claims disseminated by McDaniel, the evidence demonstrates that throughout his tenure in office, Hosemann has consistently advocated for the protection of the right to life. For this reason, Lieutenant Governor Hosemann was endorsed by the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) and its state affiliate, Mississippi Right to Life.

Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann is profoundly dedicated to fostering a culture of life. “With his leadership, Mississippi can continue to make historic progress in protecting life and making abortion unthinkable,” said Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life, in a press release announcing NRLC’s endorsement.

In a letter of endorsement, Barbara Whitehead, President of Mississippi Right to Life, wrote to Hosemann, “Our endorsement is recognition of your years of dedicated service in defense of human life for innocent unborn babies, the elderly, and the disabled.” “We commend your unwavering commitment to the pro-life cause and your consistent pro-life voting record over the years.”

In response to the endorsement, Hosemann stated, “Mississippi was the first state to overturn Roe v. Wade, and our leadership on this issue will not end at birth.” The author extends his gratitude to Mississippi Right to Life and Mrs. Whitehead for their unwavering support over the past 25 years.

Additionally, the Hosemann campaign observed that as Lieutenant Governor, Hosemann appointed a nine-member study group to conduct hearings, receive testimony, and draft legislation pertaining to the challenges confronting women, children, and families. In December, the group presented a series of post-Dobbs pro-life legislative proposals, many of which have since been enacted.

On the other side of the political spectrum, the Democratic Party has nominated Brandon Presley, a member of the Mississippi Public Service Commission and a second cousin of the legendary music icon Elvis Presley, for the position of governor. Presley, who is pro-life, is running unopposed in the Democratic Primary.

Additionally, the candidates for Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General, Ryan Grover and Greta Kemp Martin, respectively, are running unopposed. The position of Ryan Grover on the issue of abortion remains unknown. The campaign website and social media accounts do not address the issue. Kemp Martin, however, espouses a pro-abortion stance.

Kemp Martin has received the endorsement of the Democratic Attorneys General Association (DAGA), a campaign committee that includes a pro-abortion litmus test as part of its endorsement criteria. The DAGA website states that the organisation only supports attorneys general and candidates for the position of attorney general who are in favour of abortion access and reproductive rights.

On 24 June 2023, the one-year anniversary of the Dobbs decision, Martin published a post on Facebook in which he stated, “This anniversary is a difficult day for many.” It is important to note that while one option was removed from many individuals, the right to select one’s preferred candidate remains. It is of the utmost importance that we demonstrate our presence at the polls this November, in order to ensure that our collective voices and individual choices are heard.

In a recent article for The New Republic, Grace Segers posited that the potential electoral success of Kemp Martin in November may be indicative of the enduring significance of abortion as a pivotal electoral issue. Segers’ report references a DAGA memo that posits that “protecting personal freedoms is a winning message,” and that Kemp Martin has made it a cornerstone of her campaign as she travels the state with plans to turn out voters in urban and suburban areas.

On Election Day (Tuesday, August 8th), polling stations will be open from 7:00 AM until 7:00 PM. Any individual in line by 7:00 PM will be permitted to cast a ballot. This is an opportune moment to convey the message that Mississippi is a state that upholds the value of life. It is imperative that voters elect leaders who will build upon Mississippi’s legacy as one of the nation’s most protective states for unborn babies and their mothers.


Daniel Miller is responsible for nearly all of National Right to Life News' political writing.

With the election of Donald Trump to the U.S. presidency, Daniel Miller developed a deep obsession with U.S. politics that has never let go of the political scientist. Whether it's the election of Joe Biden, the midterm elections in Congress, the abortion rights debate in the Supreme Court or the mudslinging in the primaries - Daniel Miller is happy to stay up late for you.

Daniel was born and raised in New York. After living in China, working for a news agency and another stint at a major news network, he now lives in Arizona with his two daughters.

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