GOP’s Doxey and Walley, Dem Williamson lose Senate re-election

Published 6:44 pm Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Republican and Democrat incumbents both lost seats in the Mississippi Senate in contested races Tuesday.

State Sen. Ralph Doxey, R-Holly Springs, chairman of the Corrections Committee, lost to Democrat Bill Stone in Senate District 2. The district includes parts of Benton, Marshall and Tippah counties.

Doxey had served nonconsecutive 16 years in the Legislature, the last four in the Senate. He had been chairman of the Senate Local and Private Committee and took over the corrections panel after Sen. Robert G. “Bunky” Huggins, R-Greenwood, died in 2006.

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Sen. Gloria Williamson, D-Philadelphia, a former chairwoman of the Mississippi Democratic Party, lost her bid for a third term to Republican Giles Ward. Senate District 18 includes parts of Leake, Newton and Neshoba counties.

In south Mississippi’s Senate District 43 in parts of George, Greene, Stone and Wayne counties, former Sen. Tommy Dickerson of Waynesboro reclaimed the seat he lost four years ago to Shannon Walley of Leakesville. In a twist, each man originally was elected as a Democrat, switched to the Republican Party and then lost a bid for re-election.

Six Republican senators will not be returning in January — four ran for other offices, two were defeated in the August primary. Eight Republicans were unopposed.

Among Republicans winning re-election Tuesday were Alan Nunnelee of Tupelo, Merle Flowers of Southaven, Walter Michel of Jackson, Terry Burton of Newton, Tommy Moffatt of Gautier and Perry Lee of Mendenhall.

Among Democrats, two senators lost in the primaries, one ran for another office and one retired. Fourteen Democrats were unopposed for re-election to the Senate.

Among Democrats winning re-election were Hob Bryan of Amory, Nolan Mettetal of Batesville, John Horhn of Jackson and Cindy Hyde-Smith of Brookhaven.

In the House, Democratic incumbent Ricky Cummings of Iuka was defeated for a fourth term by Republican Lester Carpenter. Cummings, a close ally of House Speaker Billy McCoy, was chairman of the County Affairs Committee.

McCoy, D-Rienzi, also won re-election to his north Mississippi seat, setting the stage for a battle for the speakership against Rep. Jim Smith, D-Columbus, who was unopposed Tuesday. McCoy has been a member of the House for 28 years from Alcorn and Prentiss counties, and is completing his first term as speaker.

Rep. Cecil Brown, D-Jackson, chairman of the House Education Committee, also won re-election.