Mississippi Democratic Party
The Party of Progress
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State Office Qualifications 2019

State and State District

Candidate Requirements

State Duties, Candidacy Requirement Summaries

The following are brief descriptions of the various state offices up for election in 2019. These are summaries only retrieved from third party sources the links to which have been included. For more detailed information, visit the Mississippi Secretary of State’s Elections website.

As noted below, most of the summaries were retrieved from Ballotpedia.org, a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization dedicated to fair, impartial and usually reliable electoral and political national, state and local database.

Please inform us immediately of any errors or misinformation contained on this page. It is our goal to present accurate information, so any errors are not intentional and to correct them on a timely basis.

Before You Start

The basic requirements for seeking ANY elective office in Mississippi are as follows:

  • You must be a qualified elector (registered voter) of the State of Mississippi and of the district of the office for which the candidate seeks election. Miss. Const. of 1890, Art. XII, § 250.

  •  You must never have been convicted of bribery, perjury or other infamous crime, being defined as a crime punishable by a minimum of one (1) year confinement in the state penitentiary, unless pardoned for the offense. Miss. Const. of 1890, Art. IV, § 44.

  • You must never have been convicted of a felony in a court of this state; or, of a felony in a federal court or of a crime in a court of another state which is a felony under the laws of this state on or after December 8, 1992; excluding, however, a conviction of manslaughter or a violation of the United States Internal Revenue Code or any violation of the tax laws of this state, unless the offense also involved the misuse or abuse of an office or money coming into a candidate’s hands by virtue of an office. Miss. Const. of 1890, Art. IV, § 44.

There are additional requirements, including residency and the payment of a filing fee for most offices, which have been summarized below. If you are running as a Democrat, qualifying papers may be obtained from the headquarters of the Mississippi Democratic Party, 811 E. River Place, Jackson. Forms can also be downloaded from the Mississippi Secretary of State’s website.

Governor

Duties: The Governor  serves as commander-in-chief of the army and navy of the state, and of the militia, except when they shall be called into the service of the United States, and sees that all laws are upheld and executed. The governor may convene the legislature whenever, in his for her judgment, the public interest requires it, according to the state constitution. However, during such meetings, the governor cannot consider or act upon subjects or matters other than those designated in the proclamation of the meeting, except impeachments and examination into the accounts of state officers.

The governor has the power to grant reprieves and pardons and to remit fines. This power does not extend to cases of treason or impeachment and must be exercised with the advice and consent of the Senate. The governor sets the dates of special elections to fill vacancies of state and state district offices.

Other duties of the office include: requiring written information from any officer of an executive department of any aspect of his office; periodically addressing the legislature on the state of the state and making recommendations; suspending county level Treasurers and Tax Collectors who are suspected of defaulting for the length of the investigation; Making and sealing all commissions granted by the state of Mississippi. Source: Ballotpedia

Qualifications: According to the Mississippi Secretary of State a candidate for governor must be a qualified elector, at least 30 years old, a citizen of the United States 20 years, and a resident of the state five years next preceding the day of election. The qualifying fee is $1,000.

Lieutenant Governor

Duties: The lieutenant governor is president of the state senate and presides over that body, only voting to break a tie. Compared to the lieutenant governors in other states, Mississippi's has a great deal of power concerning the state senate. The lieutenant governor has the sole ability to appoint members, vice chairmen and chairmen to the various senate committees, regardless of each party's strength in the chamber. In the event of the death, resignation or removal of the governor, the lieutenant governor assumes the higher office. Also, if the governor is out of state, then the lieutenant governor can act in the governor's place. He has such other responsibilities and duties as the governor shall assign. Source: Ballotpedia

Qualifications: According to the Mississippi Secretary of State, a candidate for lieutenant governor must be a qualified elector, at least 30 years old, a citizen of the United States 20 years, and a resident of the state five years next preceding the day of election. The qualifying fee is $500.

 Secretary of State

 Duties: The Secretary of State has broad powers and responsibilities affecting many areas.

He or she is keeper of the capitol, gubernatorial and state level records, and maintains the statewide voter registration record, just to name a few. The Secretary of State also serves as the state’s chief election officer, the state land commissioner and holds a broad swath of responsibilities affecting businesses and corporations. These include but are not limited to processing the formation of Mississippi corporations, limited liability companies, limited partnerships, and other business and nonprofit entities; regulating and approving all notaries public; registering Mississippi Trademark Applications and filing leins under the Uniform Commercial Code. Source: Ballotpedia 

Qualifications: According to the Mississippi Secretary of State, a candidate for Secretary of State must be a qualified elector, at least 25 years old, and a citizen of the state five years next preceding the day of election. The qualifying fee is $500.

 State Treasurer

Qualifications: The State Treasurer is another state office assigned a broad range of responsibilities, including but not limited to, investing and accounting for all public funds entrusted to the office; processing and paying all warrants issued by the State in payment of its obligations; distributing tax revenues to counties, cities and other taxing districts and to monitor the cash position of all Treasury funds to insure that cash balances are invested immediately and sufficient cash balances are on hand to pay obligations as they become due. Source: Ballotpedia

Qualifications: According to the Mississippi Secretary of State, a candidate for state treasurer must be a qualified elector, at least 25 years old, and a citizen of the state five years next preceding the day of election. The qualifying fee is $500

State Auditor

Duties: Among the responsibilities of The State Auditor are conducting and overseeing audits of public entities; the investigation of alleged or suspected violations of Mississippi law, including fraud and embezzlement, by public officials related to the purchase, sale or use of any supplies, services, equipment or other public property; undertaking programmatic and performance audits and reviews to evaluate selected operations of government andproviding accounting and compliance assistance to state and local governments.  Source: Ballotpedia

Qualifications: According to the Mississippi Secretary of State, a acandidate for State Auditor must be a qualified elector, at least 25 years old, and a citizen of the state five years next preceding the day of election. The qualifying fee is $500

 Attorney General

Duties: The attorney general serves as the chief legal officer and advisor for Mississippi and is responsible for advising on both civil and criminal legal matters. The officeholder is aided by a staff of attorneys, investigators and office personnel. 

Other duties of the office include: representing public officials and government agencies, issuing legal opinions that interpret state law, acting as counsel to state agencies to defend them or bring suit on their behalf and representing the people of the state of Mississippi. Source: Ballotpedia

Qualifications: According to the Mississippi Secretary of State, a candidate for Attorney General must be a qualified elector, apracticing attorney for five years, at least 26 years old, and a citizen of the state five years. The qualfiying fee is $500.

 Commissioner of Insurance

Duties: The Insurance commissioner is charged with execution of all laws relative to insurance companies, corporations, associations and fraternal orders, their agents and adjusters. The commissioner is also the State Fire Marshal and directs the investigation of all fires of a suspicious nature, among other duties. Source: Ballotpedia

Qualifications: According to the Mississippi Secretary of State, a candidate for Commissioner of Insurance must be a qualified elector, at least 25 years old, and a citizen of the state five years next preceding the day of election. The qualifying fee is $500

Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce

Duties: The core functions of the Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce are regulatory and promotional. They include regulating and promoting agricultural-related businesses; promoting  Mississippi's products; enforcing all the laws governing the theft of livestock, agricultural and aquacultural products and implements; overseeing the efforts to combat agricultural and horticultural pests and protecting the health and economic welfare of all citizens and striving for equity in the market place. Source: Ballotpedia

Qualifications: According to the Mississippi Secretary of State, a candidate for Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce must be a qualified elector with a general knowledge of agriculture, mining, manufacturing, statistics, and general industries and an experienced and practical agriculturist. The qualifying fee is $500.


State District Offices


Public Service Commissioner

Duties: The responsibilities of the Mississippi Public Service Commissioners as a body include regulating telecommunications, electric, gas, water and sewer utilities; assuring rates and charges for these services are just and reasonableand that service rendered is reasonably adequate; insuring that any facilities constructed or acquired are required for the convenience and necessity of the publicand exercising safety jurisdiction over gas pipelines and area jurisdiction over all public utilities. The commission also is charged with answering complaints, making investigation and conducting formal and informal hearings. Source: Ballotpedia

Qualifications: According to the Mississippi Secretary of State, a candidate for Public Service Commissioner must be a qualified elector, at least 25 years old, a resident of the Supreme Court district in which he/she seeks election, and a citizen of the state five years preceding the day of election. The qualifying fee is $500

 Highway Commissioners 

Duties: The Mississippi Transportation Commission is a three-member elected body (commonly referred to as Highway Commissioners, are responsible for oversight of the state's transportation resources and operations. One member is elected from each of Mississippi’s Supreme Court Districts. Source: Ballotpedia

The Highway Commissioners are responsible for providing a safe  transportation network that is planned, designed, constructed and maintained in an effective, cost-efficient and environmentally sensitive manner. Source: Wikipedia

Qualifications: According to the Mississippi Secretary of State, a candidate for the Highway Commission must be a qualified elector, at least 25 years old, a resident of the Supreme Court district in which he/she seeks election, and a citizen of the state five years preceding the day of election. The qualifying fee is $500.

District Attorney

 Duties: According to MS Code § 25-31-11 (2013) the district attorney represents the state in all matters coming before the grand juries of the counties within his Circuit Court District and appears in the circuit courts and prosecute for the state in his district all criminal prosecutions and all civil cases in which the state or any county within his district may be interested. A district attorney may also institute and prosecute to final judgment or decree any case in the name of the state against any person or corporation for any violation of the Constitution or the laws of this state, in order to enforce any penalties, fines or forfeitures imposed by law in any court of his district having jurisdiction, with like effect as if the suit was instituted by the Attorney General. Source: Justia

Qualifications: According to the Mississippi Secretary of State, a candidate forDistrict Attorney must be a qualified elector of the district and a practicing attorney admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of Mississippi for two years. The qualifying fee is $250.


Mississippi Legislature


For your convenience, we provide below the links to Ballotpedia.org which has interactive maps to our somewhat complicated State and House District Maps. For detailed information about the precincts included in the a given district, please contact the Circuit Clerk of the county encompassing all or part area of any given district.

 Mississippi Senate

Duties: The Mississippi State Senate is the upper chamber of the Mississippi Legislature.Alongside the Mississippi House of Representatives, it forms the legislative branch of the Mississippi state government charging with creating laws and establishing a state budget. Legislative authority and responsibilities of the Mississippi State Senate include passing bills on public policy matters, setting levels for state spending, raising and lowering taxes, and voting to uphold or override gubernatorial overriding gubernatorial vetoes. Source: Ballotpedia

Qualifications: According to the Mississippi Secretary of State, a candidate for Mississippi Senate must be a qualified elector of the state four years, at least 25 years old, and an actual resident of the district or territory represented for two years before the election. The qualifying fee is $250.

Mississippi House of Representatives

Duties: The Mississippi House of Representatives is the lower chamber of the Mississippi State Legislature. Alongside the Mississippi State Senate, it forms the legislative branch of the Mississippi state government and works alongside the governor to create laws and establish a state budget. Legislative authority and responsibilities of the Mississippi House of Representatives include passing bills on public policy matters, setting levels for state spending, raising and lowering taxes, and voting to uphold or override gubernatorial vetoes. Source: Ballotpedia

Qualifications: According to the Mississippi Secretary of State, a candidate for the Mississippi House of Representatives must be a qualified elector and resident citizen of the state four years, at least 21 years old, and a resident of the district represented for two years before the election. The qualifying fee is $250.


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