2003 Mississippi general election

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A general election was held in Mississippi on November 4, 2003 to elect to 4 year terms all members of the state legislature (122 representatives, 52 senators), the offices of Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, State Treasurer, State Auditor, Secretary of State, Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce, and Commissioner of Insurance, plus all three members of the Transportation Commission and all three members of the Public Service Commission.

Results for the State Legislature[edit]

All 122 representatives and all 52 senators are elected for four-year terms with no staggering of terms. The state legislature draws up separate district map for the House of Representatives and for the Senate, usually after the U.S. Census. There are no term-limits for members of the legislature.

Results for House of Representatives[edit]

Results for Senate[edit]

Results for Statewide Offices[edit]

According to Article 5, Sections 140-41 of the state constitution, the governor and the other seven statewide officers are elected if they receive a majority of electoral votes and a majority of the direct total popular vote. A candidate wins an electoral vote by winning a plurality of the votes in a state house district; therefore, with there being 122 house districts, there are 122 electoral votes. When no candidate receives both majorities, the House of Representatives decides the election between the two persons receiving the highest number of popular votes.

Governor[edit]

Incumbent Democrat Ronnie Musgrove faced Republican challenger Haley Barbour as well as the Constitution Party's John Thomas Cripps, the Green Party's Sherman Lee Dillon, and the Reform Party's Shawn O'Hara. in 1999, Musgrove, then Lt. Gov., just barely won the gubernatorial election against Republican Mike Parker, a former U.S. Representative, with the state House of Representatives deciding the outcome due to a tie in the electoral votes (Musgrove did win 49% of the popular vote compared to 48% by Parker). Musgrove lost his re-election bid in 2003 to Barbour after a very competitive race.

Results for Governor's Race
Party Candidate Popular Votes Pop. Vote % Electoral Votes Electoral Vote %
Republican Haley Barbour 470,404 52.59% 76 62.30%
Democrat Ronnie Musgrove 409,787 45.81% 46 37.70%
Constitution John Thomas Cripps 6,317 0.71% 0 0.00%
Reform Shawn O'Hara 4,070 0.46% 0 0.00%
Green Sherman Lee Dillon 3,909 0.44% 0 0.00%
TOTAL 894,487 100.00% 122 100.0%

Lieutenant Governor[edit]

Amy Tuck, elected to the office in 1999 as a Democrat, had switched to the Republican Party in December 2002 after taking positions on several issues, like re-districting, that opposed the state Democratic Party's stances. In this race, her challenger was Democratic State Senator Barbara Blackmon, who was the first black woman to run for a statewide race. Tuck defeated Blackmon by a comfortable margin.

Results for Lieutenant Governor's Race
Party Candidate Popular Votes Pop. Vote % Electoral Votes Electoral Vote %
Republican Amy Tuck 542,129 60.98% 84 68.85%
Democrat Barbara Blackmon 329,454 37.06% 38 31.15%
Reform Anna Reives 17,481 1.97% 0 0.00%
TOTAL 889,064 100.00% 122 100.00%

Attorney General[edit]

Mike Moore, a Democrat who had served four terms starting in 1988, declined to run for re-election. Moore protégé Jim Hood faced Republican Scott Newton. Newton ran many ads attacking Hood on being soft on crime and especially criticized Hood's handling of a rape case, while Hood focused on Newton's supposed inexperience. Hood won convincingly over Newton.

Results for Attorney General's Race
Party Candidate Popular Votes Pop. Vote % Electoral Votes Electoral Vote %
Democrat Jim Hood 548,046 62.71% 100 81.97%
Republican Scott Newton 325,942 37.29% 22 18.03%
TOTAL 873,988 100.00% 122 100.0%

State Treasurer[edit]

Four term Democrat Marshall Bennett resigned in early 2003 to join a New York City law firm and was replaced by Peyton Prospere who was appointed by Gov. Musgrove to complete the term. With Prospere not seeking election in his own right, Gary Anderson ran for the Democrats. The Republicans chose 29-year-old banker Tate Reeves. In a very close race, Reeves bested Anderson.

Results for State Treasurer's Race
Party Candidate Popular Votes Pop. Vote % Electoral Votes Electoral Vote %
Republican Tate Reeves 447,860 51.80% 66 54.10%
Democrat Gary Anderson 403,307 46.64% 56 45.90%
Reform Lee Dilworth 13,507 1.56% 0 0.00%
TOTAL 864,674 100.00% 122 100.0%

State Auditor[edit]

Republican Phil Bryant, first appointed by Gov. Kirk Fordice in 1996 to fill an unexpired term and then won in 1999, easily cruised to victory over Reform Party candidate Billy Blackburn.

Results for State Auditor's Race
Party Candidate Popular Votes Pop. Vote % Electoral Votes Electoral Vote %
Republican Phil Bryant 587,212 76.31% 119 97.54%
Reform Billy Blackburn 182,292 23.69% 3 2.46%
TOTAL 769,504 100.00% 122 100.0%

Secretary of State[edit]

Three term incumbent Democrat Eric Clark won with token opposition.

Results for Secretary of State's Race
Party Candidate Popular Votes Pop. Vote % Electoral Votes Electoral Vote %
Democrat Eric Clark 610,461 71.02% 117 95.90%
Republican Julio Del Castillo 201,765 23.47% 5 4.10%
Reform Brenda Blackburn 47,296 5.50% 0 0.00%
TOTAL 859,522 100.00% 122 100.0%

Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce[edit]

Democrat Lester Spell was re-elected to a 3rd term.

Results for Commissioner of Agriculture and Industry Race
Party Candidate Popular Votes Pop. Vote % Electoral Votes Electoral Vote %
Democrat Lester J. Spell 564,283 66.11% 105 86.07%
Republican Max Phillips 274,097 32.11% 17 13.93%
Reform Bob Claunch 15,229 1.78% 0 0.00%
TOTAL 853,609 100.00% 122 100.0%

Commissioner of Insurance[edit]

Democrat George Dale won an 8th term.

Results for Commissioner of Insurance Race
Party Candidate Popular Votes Pop. Vote % Electoral Votes Electoral Vote %
Democrat George Dale 610,341 71.27% 114 93.44%
Republican Aaron DuPuy 211,859 24.77% 8 6.56%
Reform Barbara Dale Washer 32,969 3.86% 0 0.00%
TOTAL   100.00% 122 100.0%