Significant Turnover Already In The Senate
If every incumbent wins back their Senate seat in November (which I don’t think will happen), we will still be looking at a pretty higher turnover in the upper chamber which could significantly change just what goes on and who controls the key committees.
Following the primaries in August, we now know that at least 13 members of the Senate will not be back. This is exactly 25 percent of the 52-member chamber. Here is a rundown of the changes.
Seats made open via retirements or running for a different office:
SD 8: The seat long held by Sen. Jack Gordon (D), who passed away in April, will feature Democrat Russell Jolly and Republican Patsy Gregory in the general election. As a side note, there is also a special election to fill the remainder of Gordon’s term; so the winner will be sworn in immediately.
SD 10: Sen. Nolan Mettetal (R) decided to run for an open House seat where he will have an easier time winning as a Republican for the first time. Republican Van Branch and Democrat Steve Hale will meet in the general.
SD 20: Sen. Lee Yancey (R) left this seat to run for state treasurer. Josh Harkins won a hard-fought primary and is the Senator-elect.
SD 25: Sen. Walter Michel (R) decided not to run for re-election. Will Longwitz won the GOP primary and is the heavy favorite against Cecilia Sampayo in November.
SD 39: Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R) left this seat to run for Agriculture Commissioner, while Sally Doty (R) and W.L. Rayburn (D) will meet in the general election.
SD 43: Sen. Tommy Dickerson (D) decided against another term. Democrat James Walley and Republican Philip Gandy will meet in November. This presents a good GOP pickup opportunity.
SD 44: Sen. Tom King (R) decided to run for Transportation Commissioner, while John Polk won the GOP nomination and faces only minor party opposition in November.
SD 46: Sen. David Baria (D) decided to run for an open House seat opening this seat up. Philip Moran won a competitive Republican primary and will meet Democrat Joe Bye in the general election. This presents a good GOP pickup opportunity.
SD 49: Sen. Billy Hewes (R) ran for lieutenant governor and the only candidate to qualify for this seat was Sean Tindell, who will be the next Senator from the district.
Seats made open via primary loses:
SD 1: In one of the bigger surprises of the primary election, Sen. Doug Davis (R) lost to Chris Massey. With no Democratic candidate, Massey will take over in January.
SD 40: Sen. Sidney Albritton (R) lost in a runoff to Angela Hill who will be the next Senator from this district in January.
SD 47: Sen. Ezell Lee (R) was making his first run as a Republican but lost to Tony Smith in the primary. Smith has no opponent in November.
SD 52: Sen. Tommy Moffatt (R) lost to Brice Wiggins in the primary. Wiggins will take office in January with no Democratic candidate in the race.
And, of course, the lieutenant governor will be changing with Tate Reeves all but officially winning the contest after the August primary.