Political parties see candidate field as advantage - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Political parties see candidate field as advantage

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

The Magnolia State's legislature is set to get some new faces come next legislative session and if you ask Republican Party Chairman Arnie Hederman, it's the GOP which stands to gain the most.

"We got quality candidates. It's something that we're very proud of. It puts us in a great position to keep and retain the majority of the Senate and also get a speaker of the house," said Hederman.

Democrats disagree. "We feel we have a great team of candidates from across Mississippi and we're confident in our ability to maintain control of the House and pick up seats in the Senate," said Travis Brock, the party's state Executive Director in a statement.

The 122 member House is currently controlled by Democrats while the 52 member Senate is controlled by Republicans. Now both parties are hoping for a shift. According to filings 111 Republicans are vying for House seats while 67 are looking to sit in the Senate, making a total of 178 from the GOP.

On the Democratic side, 133 are vying for House seats while 49 are looking to sit in the Senate, making a total of 182 Democrats.

There's also 13 Independents as well as two from the Reform Party and one from the Constitution Party. 

Once legislative elections are done with the new house will face a battle within its own chamber to elect a speaker of the house. Whether it be through political strategy or good old fashion luck, both parties are looking to lead the house after current speaker Billy McCoy, a Democrat, announced he will not be seeking re-election.

That opens the door to politicians like democrat Jeffery Smith who ran against McCoy in the past. Smith is now changing parties becoming a Republican and is reportedly looking to go after the speakership once more.

"I think that he probably saw that the writing was on the wall, we're going to get a Republican speaker and it was in his benefit to come over to the Republican party," said Hederman.

Before lawmakers can say yea or nay, it's the voters who will determine which party will come out on top.

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