It was a battle of north versus south as U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Tupelo, defeated business owner Richard Warren Boyanton of Diamondhead, a costal community in south Mississippi.
Wicker, who received an endorsement by President Donald Trump, handily won Tuesday’s Republican primary race over Boyanton.
In the Nov. 6 general election, Wicker will face the winner of a June 26 Democratic party runoff between David Baria and Howard Sherman.
Of the 41 precincts reporting in DeSoto County, ballots cast in the Republican primary amounted to 71.78 percent of the electorate. Votes cast in the Democratic primary amounted to 28.22 percent.
Voter turnout was light in DeSoto County, according to DeSoto Circuit Clerk Dale Kelly Thompson.
According to Thompson, only 7.77 percent of DeSoto County's 101,462 registered voters, or 7,887 voters turned out at the polls.
In DeSoto County, Wicker received 73.73 percent of the vote, compared to Boyanton's 25.51 percent.
In DeSoto's Democratic primary, Baria garnered 841 votes compared to 112 for Jensen Bohren, 156 for Jerone Garland, 129 for Victor G. Maurice, Jr., 282 for Omeria Scott and 686 for Howard Sherman.
In the Democratic primary for U.S. Representative, Randy Mack Watkins, unopposed, received 98.65 percent in unofficial returns. He will face incumbent U.S. Rep. Trent Kelly, also unopposed, who received 98.21 percent of the vote.
Many voters showed up at the polls expecting to cast votes for the hotly contested race for the open U.S. Senate seat vacated by longtime incumbent U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran, who retired after four decades in office.
Under Mississippi law, all special elections held to fill a vacated seat are nonpartisan affairs.
In November, U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, appointed to Cochran's Senate seat by Republican Gov. Phil Bryant, will face state Sen. Chris McDaniel of Ellisville, a perennial challenger for Cochran's seat.
Hyde-Smith is the former Mississippi Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce.
Former U.S. Congressman and past U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Mike Espy, a Democrat, will also be on the November ballot in that race along with fellow Democrat Toby Bartee.
Jason Shelton, the Democratic mayor of Tupelo, had previously thrown his hat into the U.S. Senate special election but dropped out last month.
Bryant appointed Hyde-Smith to fill Cochran's seat on March 21, 2018.
The winner of the special election will serve the remainder of Cochran's term until Jan. 3, 2021.
Robert Lee Long is Community Editor of the DeSoto Times-Tribune. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 662-429-6397, Ext. 252.