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Hosemann Defeats McDaniel For GOP Lieutenant Governor Nod, Calls For Campaign Finance Reform

A man holding signs that read "Delbert Lt Governor" by the road side
Mississippi Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann defeated challenger Chris McDaniel for the Republican nomination for his position in the Aug. 8, 2023, primaries. In his victory speech, the lieutenant governor called for campaign finance reforms. Photo courtesy Delbert Hosemann / Twitter

Mississippi Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann defeated longtime Mississippi Sen. Chris McDaniel in Tuesday’s Republican primaries. The incumbent narrowly avoided a protracted runoff campaign for the lieutenant governor nomination by defeating his challenger with over 50% of the vote.

With 93% of votes counted Tuesday morning, the Associated Press reported that Hosemann led the Jones County senator by about 52%-43%. A third candidate, Tiffany Longino, received 5.2% of the vote. Come January, McDaniel will no longer be a state senator after giving up his seat to run for lieutenant governor.

Official looking photo of D. Ryan Grover standing in front of the Mississippi flag
D. Ryan Grover ran unopposed for the Democratic nomination for Mississippi lieutenant governor on Aug. 8, 2023. Courtesy D. Ryan Grover campaign

Hosemann will face political newcomer D. Ryan Grover, who ran uncontested in the Democratic primary, in the Nov. 7 general election. A Hattiesburg resident, Grover says on his campaign website that he wants to make voting easier by adopting early voting, increase government transparency and reverse the “brain drain” that causes so many young residents to leave the state.

Hosemann’s victory follows months of vicious campaigning that included everything from McDaniel accusing him of running an abortion clinic to him suggesting the senator may be guilty of voter fraud and campaign finance allegations.

During his victory speech, Hosemann cited concerns about “dark money” PACs from out-of-state that poured millions into Mississippi to support the McDaniel campaign with negative ads. One of those, the Invest In Mississippi PAC, is now under investigation by Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch.

“It screams for reform. We are going to listen to those screams,” the lieutenant governor said, without specifying what those reforms would look like.

“Thank you, Mississippi, for the honor of my lifetime serving you,” Sen. Chris McDaniel, R-Ellisville, told supporters after conceding the GOP nomination for lieutenant governor on Aug. 8, 2023.

In a statement Tuesday night, McDaniel congratulated Hosemann and said he ran “because the humbling, hardworking families across Mississippi deserved a conservative fighting for them in Jackson.”

“While the road to get here has been tough, I am forever grateful for the hard work of my grassroots supporters who built this campaign from the ground up,” the Jones County senator said. “Tonight, it’s clear Delbert Hosemann heard you, and I know grassroots patriots will continue to encourage him to fight for Mississippi values and our conservative principles. Mississippi’s future deserves a fighting chance. After 16 years in public office, it’s now my turn to join the ranks of hardworking Republican activists across our great state to re-elect Gov. Tate Reeves and support every Republican on our ballot this November.”

The incumbent governor easily defeated two primary challengers Tuesday night with about 75% of his party’s vote. His opponent in the Nov. 7 election is Democratic Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley.

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