TUPELO • Two candidates have thus far jumped into the race to fill the north Mississippi transportation commissioner post.

Jeremy Martin and Trey Bowman have both qualified as Republicans for the position, according to the Mississippi GOP.

No Democratic candidates have publicly announced, and the state Democratic Party has declined to release the names of qualifying candidates until the qualifying period is over on March 1.

Mike Tagert is the incumbent transportation commissioner for the northern district. A Republican, he is not seeking re-election.

An elected board of three commissioners governs the Mississippi Department of Transportation, with each commissioner elected by different regions of the state.

The Transportation Commission is guaranteed at least two new faces next year. Central District Commissioner Dick Hall has also declined to seek re-election.

Martin is assistant Secretary of State for North Mississippi, a post he has held 11 years. Martin also spent six years as an educator in both public and private schools, including Tupelo Christian Preparatory School.

In a campaign announcement, Martin described economic development as a “passion” and highlighted his studies at the Economic Development Institute at the University of Oklahoma.

Martin unsuccessfully sought a state House of Representatives seat in 2003.

Bowman’s website describes him as an entrepreneur with a diverse array of business ventures, including experience in the oil and gas and sporting industries.

He is co-founder of Enviro Tech Pipeline Services.

The chairman of the Choctaw County GOP, Bowman also served as a county chairman for President Donald Trump’s campaign.

Martin, Bowman and any other Republican candidates that enter the race will meet in a party primary on August 6. A runoff will follow on August 27, if needed.

caleb.bedillion@journalinc.com Twitter: @CalebBedillion

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