Incumbent Mississippi Dist. 46 Sen. Philip Moran prevailed over challenger Blaine LaFontaine in Tuesday's Republican primary, according to unofficial results, but it was a close race.

LaFontaine -- currently the president of the Hancock County Board of Supervisors -- actually slightly edged Moran out in Hancock County, earning an unofficial 4,865 votes to Moran's 4,671. However, District 46 also includes part of Harrison County, where voters slightly favored Moran, giving him the win. Unofficially, Moran earned a total of 5,946 votes to LaFontaine's 5,758, once Harrison County votes were tallied.

"First and foremost, I want to thank the people who came out to vote today," Moran said Tuesday evening. "The people have spoken and the race was a lot closer than we would have led, but we'll take the win.

"We're going to move forward. As far as I'm concerned, everybody's on the same team. We're going to continue to serve District 46 to the best of our ability. … I'm proud of the face that we ran a very clean, positive campaign. I stated several times throughout the campaign that we never would go negative. I look forward to continuing to serve the good people of Hancock and Harrison counties in Jackson."

"We had real issues that we both talked about, at the end of the day," LaFontaine said, "and we're both trying to work on those issues."

In House District 95, Republican incumbent Patricia Willis will head to a runoff on Aug. 27. Willis faced three primary challengers, including current Diamondhead City Councilwoman Nancy Depreo, Robert Dambrino and Jay McKnight.

In Hancock County, Willis earned 1,370 votes -- roughly 39 percent; Depreo earned 1,100; McKnight, 882; and Dambrino, 164, in unofficial totals.

Factoring in the Harrison County votes, however, Willis finished the race with 1,542 votes, slightly behind McKnight, with 1,924; and ahead of Depreo's 1,180 and Dambrino's 389. Willis and McKnight will face each other again in the Aug. 27 run-off.

Dist. 93 Rep. Timmy Ladner was unopposed.

Dist. 122 candidate Brent Anderson was unopposed in the Republican primary and will face Democratic candidate Wendy McDonald in November.

For a complete listing of Hancock County vote totals in state-wide and district races, see page 3A of today's Sea Coast Echo.

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