Today is the qualifying deadline for those seeking to run for a seat in the Mississippi legislature as well as statewide office. As MPB's Paul Boger reports those seeking offices have until 5 p.m. today to file paperwork with their political party.
The 174 seats in the legislature as well as all eight statewide offices are up for grabs. Seven of the statewide offices are currently held by Republicans seeking reelection.
Austin Barbour is a G.O.P. consultant. He says if members of his party want to keep their office they need to stick to a basic message.
"Their message should be very concise," says Barbour. "We're taking care of priorities with education. Our unemployment rates have dropped two-points in the past three or four years and added thousands of jobs. You're going to get a tax cut this year. I think that if you stick to those messages, I think Republicans will be fine."
Despite the optimism from Republicans, Democrats are trying to take over the offices of Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and State Auditor in addition to picking up seats in the legislature.
Democratic Party Chair Rickey Cole says his party is going to fight hard to take back control of the state government.
"Well, we believe that Mississippi can do better with better leadership. We believe that we can do better with public education. We can do better for public health, and we can do better for our infrastructure than we've been doing under the Republicans."
Party primaries will be held in August. The winners will face off in November general election.