Candidate questions tight GOP primary for Mississippi Senate

August 10, 2019 9:54:28 PM



BILOXI -- A state Senate candidate in Mississippi says he will contest the results of a Republican primary that's neck and neck.


State Rep. Scott DeLano of Biloxi tells news outlets he wants to examine all ballot boxes and other election material.


DeLano and Biloxi City Councilwoman Dixie Newman ran in Tuesday's primary in Senate District 50 in Harrison County.



They remained within a few votes of each other as votes were counted election night. The next day, election officials found a thumb drive, or electronic record, of uncounted votes from one precinct. Once those were added, Newman was ahead by a single vote.


The election has not been certified because voters who forgot to bring identification to the polls have five business days to show their IDs to have their ballots counted. The deadline is Tuesday, a week after the primary.


Republican Tommy Gollott of Biloxi held the Senate seat for decades but didn't seek reelection. Because no Democrats or other candidates are running, the winner of the Republican primary will hold the seat for the next four years.


DeLano told the Sun Herald that he's concerned about "the integrity of the race." He asked: "Why didn't somebody know that there was a thumb drive missing on Tuesday night before everyone attested to the accuracy of the work they performed that night?"


Newman told WLOX-TV she understands why DeLano is asking to examine the election material.


"If the shoe was on the other foot I would also be asking for a recount, so it's within his right to do so," Newman said. "We're just going to be hoping for a positive outcome and we ask our supporters to continue to pray for us. ... We're going to hit the ground running for now, if the results change, then they change, but we're going to stay positive."