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GOP's Mathis, as lone candidate, wins Mississippi legislative seat without special election

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JACKSON, Mississippi — A new Mississippi lawmaker will take office without the formality of an election.

Republican Jay Mathis of Carthage was the only candidate who signed up to run for a seat vacated by longtime Democratic Rep. Bennett Malone. Because of that, the state Board of Election Commissioners has canceled a May 5 special election and declared Mathis the winner.

House spokeswoman Meg Annison says Tuesday that a swearing-in date for Mathis has not been set.

Mathis will serve about the final nine months of a four-year term that Malone started in District 45, in parts of Leake, Neshoba, Rankin and Scott counties.

Mathis will get to vote on legislation only if Gov. Phil Bryant calls a special session sometime before January, because lawmakers have finished their regular session.

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