It's the matchup for governor that just about everybody in Mississippi expected. Tate Reeves won the Republican nomination last night grabbing 54 percent of the vote in his runoff against Bill Waller Junior. It means that in the November election, Mississippi's two-term lieutenant governor will face the state's attorney general who's served four terms. And Democrat Jim Hood says he's looking forward to it. Reeves has already spent about six million dollars on his campaign. Hood says he's confident he'll raise enough money to win the race.
For the first time in history, Mississippi will have a female attorney general next year. Lynn Fitch won the Republican runoff with 52 percent of the vote beating Andy Taggart. The State Treasurer now faces Democrat Jennifer Riley Collins in the general election. She's the former director of the American Civil Liberties Union in Mississippi.
There were two district-level runoffs on yesterday's ballots. Jackson city councilman D'Keither Stamps won a Democratic nomination for the Public Service Commission. And former DeSoto County supervisor John Caldwell won the Republican nomination for a spot on the Transportation Commission.
Some more familiar faces won't be back at the State Capitol. Six members of the Mississippi House and one state senator lost their re-election bids in yesterday's runoffs. Republican senator Chris Massey of Nesbit was defeated, along with Republican representatives John Glen Corley of Lumberton, Roun McNeal of Leakesville, Gary Staples of Laurel and Patricia Willis of Diamondhead and two Democrats in the House - Deborah Dixon of Raymond and Kathy Sykes of Jackson. Four other members of the legislature were defeated in the August 6th primaries.
Tuesday's runoff elections in Mississippi did not go off without a hitch. State election officials confirmed at least three reports of voting machines in two counties automatically changing voters selections from Bill Waller to Tate Reeves. The action was recorded on video on a Facebook account.
The intensity forecast is changing and Tropical Storm Dorian is now on track to hit Florida as a Category Two hurricane. The National Hurricane Center predicts the eye of the storm will come on shore in Central Florida late Sunday, directly impacting the Space Coast to Daytona Beach. Still, nearly the entire Florida peninsula is under the "cone of uncertainty" and residents should brace for Dorian's strong winds, storm surge, and flooding rain. The governor is asking residents to check their supplies and make sure they have at least three-days of food and water on hand to ride out the storm.
For more on these stories and more, here's behind-the-scenes video of this Aug. 28th edition of "Gulf Coast Mornings with Kelly Bennett and Uncle Henry":