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Congressional primary election set for Tuesday

By Jebb Johnston jjohnston@dailycorinthian.com

Absentee voting picked up a bit in the past week, but it is expected to be a slow day at the polls Tuesday as Democratic and Republican primaries are held for Mississippi congressional seats.

With but one race on each party's ballot, no local races and few, if any, candidate appearances in the area, there hasn't been much to stir voter interest.

"If we hit 2,000 votes, it will be a good day," said Deputy Circuit Clerk Crystal Starling.

As of Friday afternoon, the office had issued 51 absentee ballots for the Democratic primary and 38 for the Republican primary.

Polls will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the 17 county precincts. Starling said it's important to remember it is a countywide election and should not be confused with the upcoming Corinth elections.

Incumbent Sen. Roger Wicker (R) and Rep. Trent Kelly (R) are defending their seats in this year's mid-term elections. Kelly has no opponent in the Republican primary, while Wicker is challenged by Richard Boyanton, a south Mississippi businessman.

On the Democratic side, Randy Mack Wadkins is unopposed for the party's nomination for U.S. House. He is an Iuka native and an Ole Miss chemistry instructor.

Six Democrats are vying for the opportunity to challenge Wicker. They are David Baria, a member of the Mississippi House for District 122; Jensen Bohren of Benton; Jerone Garland of Kosciusko; Victor G. Maurice Jr. of Pass Christian; Omeria Scott, a member of the Mississippi House for District 80; and Howard Sherman, the husband of actress Sela Ward, of Meridian.

As with all Mississippi elections now, voter ID will be required at the polls.

The Secretary of State's Office will have 26 observers in precincts across the state. Problems at the polls observed by state observers or otherwise reported to the Elections Division will be referred to the authorities, including the Attorney General's Office or the appropriate district attorney.