Harrison County

Dixie Newman’s victory vacated. Judge orders special election for Senate race in Biloxi.

There’s no longer a certified winner of Senate District 50, and a special election has been ordered to determine who will represent that area of Harrison County in the state Senate.

On Tuesday, special judge Richard McKenzie, ruling for Harrison County Circuit Court, vacated the certification of Dixie Newman as the winner and ordered the special election. The date of the election will be set by the governor.

The Harrison County Republican Executive Committee had certified Newman as the winner of the election by 1 vote over Scott DeLano.

The attorneys for both Delano and Newman, in their presence, made a joint oral request to the Republican Committee that the election results should be decertified and a special election be held for a partial revote in the split precincts. That request came after inspection of the results showed there were irregularities in the election.

The petition to the judge said 18 voters improperly voted and these voters either resided in Senate District 49 but had unlawfully registered in Senate District 50 or they were living in Senate District 50, but unlawfully registered in Senate District 49 and were not allowed to vote in Senate District 50.

The five split districts where the special election will be held are:

Saucier

New Hope

Howard Creek

Margaret Sherry

Biloxi 11 (Donal Snyder)

The votes stand in the other 11 districts in the race.

The order said that in addition to the issues of split districts, other irregularities concerning absentee and affidavit ballots were found along with other matters concerning the poll managers’ activities that allegedly occurred in the split precincts.

The candidates and their attorneys agreed these unlawful ballots would have affected the outcome of the election, according to the ruling.

Mary Perez is the business and casino reporter for the Sun Herald and also writes about Biloxi, jobs and the new restaurants and development coming to the Coast. She is a fourth-generation journalist.
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