The voters of Jones County are surely in for a wild ride. Election season is in full effect with less than two months for candidates to qualify for office.

The offices that will be filled in November are: governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general, state auditor, state treasurer, commissioner of insurance, commissioner of agriculture and commerce, state senators, state representatives, transportation commissioners, public service commissioners, district attorneys, sheriffs, chancery clerks, circuit clerks, tax assessors, tax collectors, coroners, county attorneys, surveyors, supervisors, justice court judges and constables.

Statewide, with Gov. Phil Bryant being term-limited — don’t we wish that could be the case for all elected officials — the race for the top political office in Mississippi will be heated — and crowded. With Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves and Attorney General Jim Hood already having qualified, and Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann expected to vie for lieutenant governor, the statewide political landscape will change drastically as Mississippi celebrates its 201st birthday.

Locally, well, it will be wild. Former sheriff Larry Dykes has filed to run for supervisor in hopes of helping control the sheriff’s purse strings. It also will be interesting to see how the Board of Supervisors will change as Hodge has been in an ongoing war or words over, mostly, budgetary issues involving his administrative-heavy department.

Justice court could have a new look as well, as one candidate is retiring — Howell Beech — and there should be competition in the two races with incumbents Billie Graham and David Lyons seeking re-election.

The entire election season, especially in an election such as this one, could seem overwhelming to people who do not describe themselves as political junkies.

That is where we come in. With a small, yet highly qualified staff of reporters and editors who have been covering politics since before Bill Clinton entered office, there is no question the authority on local elections is this newspaper. The Leader-Call, the dominant media and only news outlet that delivers hard-hitting news without being swayed by money, power or influence, will deliver the most comprehensive election coverage.

As we like to say, no media outlet on planet Earth cares more about Jones County than the Laurel Leader-Call. We will give you the news, dig deep into campaign finance reports, explore every avenue to allow you, the readers, to make the most informed decisions possible. We will not regurgitate talking points and follow the journalistic dictum of “trust but verify.”

The residents of Jones County are in for a wild election ride. There is no better pilot of those elections than this newspaper. That is our vow to you.

Welcome aboard.

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