Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood has won the Democratic nomination for governor.
He defeated seven lesser-known candidates Tuesday and will face a Republican, an independent and a Constitution Party candidate in November.
Republican Gov. Phil Bryant could not seek a third term this year. Hood is trying to become Mississippi’s first Democratic governor since Ronnie Musgrove was defeated in 2003 after a single term.
The 57-year-old Hood is completing his fourth term as attorney general and is the only Democrat holding statewide office in Mississippi. He was previously a district attorney.
Hood frequently says he’s running for governor to help “the least among us,” including the poor. He says Mississippi needs to improve schools and highways.
Mississippi, Louisiana and Kentucky are electing governors this year.
Mississippi’s fourth-term attorney general, Jim Hood, is trying to defeat seven low-budget candidates in a Democratic gubernatorial primary in hopes of a bigger goal in November: breaking a Republican grip on the governorship lasting 24 of the past 28 years.
Party primaries are Tuesday in Mississippi, one of three states electing a governor this year. Louisiana and Kentucky are the others. Voters are weighing which party should take charge amid questions about the future economic direction of the conservative Southern state.
Second-term Republican Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves is backed by Republican Gov. Phil Bryant, who cannot seek a third term. His primary opponents are former Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice Bill Waller Jr. and state Rep. Robert Foster.
If primary runoffs are needed, they will be Aug. 27.