TUPELO • In the race to win the northern district’s seat on the state highway commission, Republican Geoffrey Yoste has a strong fundraising advantage.

According to campaign finance reports released last week, Yoste has raised about $105,000, a little more than $40,000 more than his nearest opponent.

Yoste is in a Republican primary with four declared opponents seeking a post on the Transportation Commission, which governs the Mississippi Department of Transportation.

Among those opponents, Trey Bowman reported a fundraising total of about $62,000, but he loaned his own campaign $25,000 of that reported total.

Jeremy Martin reported fundraising totals of about $50,000, but loaned himself $20,000 of that total.

John Caldwell raised about $32,000.

Republican candidate E.A. Hathcock did not submit any campaign finance disclosures by the required deadline.

Most of the candidate have been fairly modest in their spending up to now, except for Martin, who reports spending almost half of his total contributions.

Yoste is a defense contractor consultant based in Oxford. A U.S. Army and Mississippi National Guard veteran, he previously qualified for the Transportation Commission post in 2015 but ultimately withdrew and endorsed the incumbent. He unsuccessfully ran for Congress in 2000.

Bowman, of Ackerman, has been involved in a diverse array of business ventures, including experience in the oil and gas and sporting industries. He is co-founder of Enviro Tech Pipeline Service.

Caldwell has been an elected county supervisor and worked as transportation director and emergency management director for DeSoto County Schools and is a Marine Corps veteran. He unsuccessfully ran for the Transportation Commission in 2003 and 2011.

Martin, of Tupelo, is assistant Secretary of State for North Mississippi, a post he has held 11 years. Martin’s resume also includes six years as an educator. Martin unsuccessfully sought a state legislative seat in 2003.

Democratic candidate Joe T. Grist has no primary opponent and will face the Republican nominee in the general election. His campaign reports raising about $6,600 thus far in the race.

caleb.bedillion@journalinc.com Twitter: @CalebBedillion

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