A surprisingly strong turnout is reported in areas across South Mississippi Tuesday as voters lined up to elect a governor and other state and county officials.
11:30 p.m. update
Associated Press and The New York Times declare Republican Gov. Tate Reeves the winner of the governor’s race in Mississippi over challenger Brandon Presley.
With 91% of the precincts reporting at 11:30 p.m., Reeves had 52.3% of the vote to 45.9% for Democrat Presley and 1.9 percent for Independent candidate Gwendolyn Gray.
“This victory sure is sweet,” Reeves told his supporters in Jackson.
Voters in South Mississippi gave Reeves their support, with a 17% advantage over Presley in Harrison County, 26% advantage in Jackson County and 44% more of the vote in Hancock County.
11 p.m. update
The results are coming in slowly now and with 88% of the vote counted, Gov. Reeves is still up 52%-46%. He or Presley will need 50% plus one vote to clinch the win, or the race will got to a runoff on Nov. 28.
In Hinds County, 68% of the vote is counted.
10:32 p.m. update
The race for governor has narrowed slightly, and with 85% of the vote now counted, Reeves has a 52% to 46% lead over Presley.
10:10 p.m. report
With most of the other elections already determined, the count continues in the governor’s race. With 75% of the vote counted in Mississippi, Reeves still holds a 53% to 45% lead over Presley, although that’s the closest spread of the evening in that race.
9:50 p.m. update
While the governor’s race plays out, all the other top state officials easily won another term. Charles Busby won election as the new Southern District Transportation Commissioner and there were no upsets for Mississippi Senate and House races on the Coast.
Republican Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann won a second term by defeating a Democratic challenger who had spent little money, business consultant D. Ryan Grover, according to Associated Press. In a contentious Republican primary in August, Hosemann defeated state Sen. Chris McDaniel.
Hosemann said at his election night watch party that over the next four years, “Our view is toward the next generation, not the next election. We are ready to meet head on the challenges our state will face in workforce development, the economy, healthcare, and other areas. And we will face them with solutions which create a culture of opportunity for all Mississippians.”
Republican Attorney General Lynn Fitch, whose office led the legal fight to overturn Roe v. Wade and change abortion access, won a second term by defeating Democrat Greta Kemp Martin, an attorney for Disability Rights Mississippi.
9:35 p.m. update
In Harrison County, Justin Wetzel won the election as the new circuit clerk, with 22,197 votes to 15,976 for Independent candidate Melvin Ray.
Theressia Lyons won the election for Harrison County Justice Court judge in Place 4.
Unofficial results show Gov. Tate Reeves took Harrison County with 23,221 votes (58%) to Presley’s 16,356 votes (41%).
Voter turnout in Harrison County was 28%.
As the statewide votes roll in for governor, Reeves still leads by 55% to 43% with 65% of the vote counted.
9:30 p.m. update
Here are the results of local races in Hancock County:
Chancery Clerk — Tiffany Cowman wins with 79% of the vote to Henry Ward’s 18%
Supervisor District 2 — Greg Shaw wins with 83% of the vote to Timothy Stinson Jr.’s 12%
Justice Court Judge 3 — Eric Moran Sr. wins with 74% of the votes to Lynn Smith’s 17%
Hancock County Election Commissioner 2 — Tad Shaw received 47% of the vote to Sandra “Sam” Henley, with 44%, forcing a runoff.
9:10 p.m. update
With 50% of the vote in, Gov. Tate Reeves has 57% of the vote to Presley’s 41%.
Reeves wins big in Hancock County with 7,487 votes (71%) to Brandon Presley’s 2,882 )27%).
9 p.m. update
Gov. Tate Reeves takes a bigger lead in Harrison County. With 30 of 51 precincts reporting, Reeves has 13,900 votes to 9,745 for Presley.
Independent candidate Gwendolyn Gray has had little impact on the governor’s race, taking only about 2% of the vote. With 42% of the vote counted, it’s 57% for Reeves and 42% for Presley.
8:50 p.m. update
New York Times has called the races for Attorney General Lynn Fitch, Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann and Secretary of State and Coast resident Michael Watson as winners.
It’s a close race for Harrison County Circuit Clerk, where Republican Justin Wetzel leads with 6,746 votes to 5,913 votes for Independent Melvin Ray with 20 of 51 precincts reporting.
Theressia Lyons has a big lead for Harrison County Justice Court judge, Place 4, With 1,911 votes to John Cook with 287 votes and James Griffin with 197 votes.
8:35 p.m. update
Numbers are coming in to county courthouses in South Mississippi and wire reports. With 18% of the vote counted in Mississippi, Tate Reeves has 57% of the vote to Brandon Presley’s 42%, reports the New York Times.
The race is close in Harrison County. With 20 of 51 precincts reporting, Reeves leads with 6,964 votes to 6,236 for Presley.
Meanwhile, judges in Hinds County are issuing orders that four precincts stay open to 9 p.m. because of ballot shortage. That could delay the outcome of the governor’s race.
7 p.m. update
The polls closed at 7 p.m. across the state, except in Hinds County, where a shortage of ballots prompted a court order to allow voting until 8 p.m. Secretary of State Michael Watson said counties are required to print ballots for 60% of the active voter count and county officials then decide how to distribute ballots among precincts.
The big questions to be answered: Will a winner be determined tonight in the governor’s race? Will there be a runoff?
The Sun Herald will report all the latest numbers in this live update and on social media.
The key race is between Gov. Tate Reeves, who is seeking a second term, and challenger Brandon Presley.
Upsets aren’t expected in the other top state races, yet it’s possible that South Mississippi could see a change in leadership in the Senate and House.
Harrison County voters will choose a new circuit clerk for the first time in years, since Connie Ladner is retiring, and will vote for Justice Court judge in District 4.
Hancock County has the most local races. The most watched race is for chancery clerk, and other contested races are for District 2 supervisor, Justice Court judge in District 3 and election commissioner in District 2.
Jackson County doesn’t have any local races.