2018 Mississippi Code
Title 23 - Elections
Chapter 15 - Mississippi Election Code
Article 11 - Nominations.
§ 23-15-317. Nomination of nominee when vacancy in nomination occurs between primary election and general election; procedure for withdrawal based upon legitimate nonpolitical reason.

Universal Citation: MS Code § 23-15-317 (2018)
  • If any person nominated for office in a primary election shall die, be removed after his or her nomination or withdraw or resign from his or her candidacy for a legitimate nonpolitical reason as defined in this section, and the vacancy in nomination shall occur between the primary election and the ensuing general election, then the municipal, county or state executive committee with which the original nominee qualified as a candidate in the primary election shall nominate a nominee for such office. Where such a party nominee is unopposed each political party registered with the State Board of Election Commissioners shall have the privilege of nominating a candidate for the office involved. Such nominee shall be duly certified by the respective executive committee chair. Within two (2) days after such nomination is made by the appropriate executive committee, such committee shall formally notify the Secretary of State of the name of the nominee. The Secretary of State shall thereupon officially notify the appropriate officials charged with conducting the election for the office wherein the vacancy occurred of the name of the nominee. All nominations made pursuant to the provisions of this section shall have the same force and effect and shall entitle the nominees to all rights and privileges that would accrue to them as if they had been nominated in the regular primary election.
  • “Legitimate nonpolitical reason” as used in this section shall be limited to the following:
  • (a) Reasons of health, which shall include any health condition which, in the written opinion of a medical doctor, would be harmful to the health of the candidate if he or she continued.

  • (b) Family crises, which shall include circumstances which would substantially alter the duties and responsibilities of the candidate to the family or to a family business.

  • (c) Substantial business conflict, which shall include the policy of an employer prohibiting employees being candidates for public offices and an employment change which would result in the ineligibility of the candidate or which would impair his or her capability to properly carry out the functions of the office being sought.

  • Any candidate who withdraws based upon a “legitimate nonpolitical reason” which is not covered by the above definition shall have the strict burden of proof for his or her reason.
  • A candidate who wishes to withdraw for a legitimate nonpolitical reason shall submit his or her reason by sworn affidavit. Such affidavit shall be filed with the state party chair of the nominee’s party and the State Board of Election Commissioners. No substitution of candidates shall be authorized, except for death or disqualification, unless the State Board of Election Commissioners approves the affidavit as constituting a “legitimate nonpolitical reason” for the candidate’s resignation within five (5) days of the date the affidavit is submitted to the board.
  • Immediately upon approval or disapproval of such affidavit, the State Board of Election Commissioners shall notify the respective executive committee of same.
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