Special election possible for District 50 Senate seat

Special election possible for District 50 Senate seat
(Source: WLOX)

BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - A court hearing and possibly a special election will decide who takes the District 50 Senate seat in January.

Biloxi councilwoman Dixie Newman defeated former state representative Scott DeLano in the election night count on August 6 and again after a review and recount. But DeLano challenged those results believing some voters received the wrong ballots on August 6.

The Harrison County Republican Executive Committee heard from lawyers for Newman and DeLano who asked for a new election in five of the 16 precincts in District 50, according to Frank Genzer, the chairmen of the GOP executive committee. Genzer said the GOP executive committee doesn’t have the authority to order a new election so the committee voted to go along with the request to ask a judge to rule on a new election.

Though Genzer said both campaigns were in agreement, a statement from Newman late today reiterated that she stands by the votes cast August 6.

“I won the primary election. I was still ahead after the recount/certification. Today, the Harrison County Republican Executive Committee took no action on Mr. DeLano’s petition for a new election,” Newman said. “I understand that he will continue his quest to overturn this election through the courts. I, on the other hand, will continue to prepare myself to represent the voters of Senate District 50 when the Legislature convenes January.”

After the ballot reviews, requested by DeLano, Newman held a one vote lead.

After the GOP executive committee’s decision today, DeLano told WLOX News Now the committee recognized errors made on election day.

“Today, the Harrison County Republican Executive Committee met to review the petition that we filed regarding the primary election on August 6th. They found and were able to collaborate with the Circuit Clerk’s office that there were some errors where voters who lived in District 49 received ballots for District 50 and vice versa," Delano explained. "They also acknowledged that the total number of people that received the wrong ballots could affect the outcome of this one-vote race. They felt that it was best if we threw out the split precincts and petition the court jointly for the re-election or a special election to be held in those five split precincts for District 50.”

The petition must be filed in circuit court by Friday, September 6.

As for when the new election could take place if ordered by a judge, all we know for sure is that it would not be the same day as the General Election in November. If a new election is ordered, any registered voter in the selected precincts who did not vote in the Democratic Primary would be eligible to vote.

Below is a precinct by precinct breakdown of the results from election night on August 6.

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