Harrison County

Dixie Newman, Scott Delano won’t debate before Nov. 5 special election

Dixie Newman and Scott DeLano’s race for the District 50 senate seat was the closest on the Mississippi Coast. Newman was certified as the winner by 1 vote, but due to irregularities in split districts, a special election has been ordered to determine a winner.
Dixie Newman and Scott DeLano’s race for the District 50 senate seat was the closest on the Mississippi Coast. Newman was certified as the winner by 1 vote, but due to irregularities in split districts, a special election has been ordered to determine a winner. anewton@sunherald.com

The date is set for a special election between Scott DeLano and Dixie Newman for Senate District 50, and there will be no debate beforehand.

“We’ve been notified that the special election will be the same day as the General Election, which is Nov. 5,” said Frank Genzer, chairman of the Harrison County Republican Executive Committee.

He also said the committee has had requests to hold a debate, “but both parties have not agreed to a debate so there will not be one.”

The committee had certified Newman as the winner by one vote over DeLano, but both candidates asked for a special election and the results to be decertified. Special Judge Richard McKenzie, ruling for Harrison County Circuit Court, ordered the special election.

Voters in five split voting precincts will be allowed to vote — if they voted Republican in the primary election.

The five split precincts are:

Saucier

New Hope

Howard Creek

Margaret Sherry

Biloxi 11 (Donal Snyder)

The votes will stand in the other 11 districts, and the candidate who wins by at least one vote will become the new state senator.

A special election was ordered after evidence showed irregularities in the election. The petition to the judge said 18 people improperly voted who lived in in Senate District 49 but had unlawfully registered in Senate District 50, or they were living in District 50 but unlawfully registered in District 49 and were not allowed to vote in District 50.

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

DeLano has served in the state House since 2010 and is a commercial real estate developer. Newman is president of the Biloxi Council and owns a coffee shop.

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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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