Judge Orders Governor to Redo November Ballot

By: Jon Kalahar Email
By: Jon Kalahar Email

Hinds County Circuit Court Judge Tomie Green said, by law, the race between Sen. Roger Wicker and former governor, Ronnie Musgrove, should be placed toward the top of the ballot.

Green's decision may be just another turn in the long and winding road to the Nov. 4 general election.

In her ruling, Green said she believes a state statute lays out the order in which all elections should follow.

And even though the special election must be clearly distinguished, Green said simply labeling it "special election is enough, not bumping it all the way down the ballot."

Neither Musgrove nor Wicker's campaign believe this will affect the outcome of the election.

"Senator Wicker is not worried about the ballot issue," said Ryan Annison, Wicker spokesman. "He's worried about jobs for Mississippi and lowering gas prices."

"We just want them to follow the law and not make such a big issue out of this, but simply follow the law," said Musgrove.

Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann said he and Gov. Haley Barbour are appealing Green's ruling to the Mississippi Supreme Court. But because absentee ballots must be distributed and mailed to our military overseas, he says time is short.

"We're hopeful that the Supreme Court will address this in an expedited manner so we can finally find some final relief to the status of this issue," said Hosemann.

Hosemann and the Pike County Circuit Clerk confirmed that the plaintiff in this matter, Pike County Election Commissioner, Trudy Berger, a Democrat, was elected by voters through a special election during a general election, the exact same circumstances she's fighting against in the Wicker-Musgrove race.

"I just know, the fact is, hers was a special election and it was at the end of the ballot for which she's complained bitterly here," said Hosemann.

Hosemann said he hopes the high court will issue its ruling by Monday or Tuesday of next week.


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