Mississippi election: 4 congressional seats in primary
JACKSON, Mississippi (AP) — Mississippi is holding party primaries Tuesday for his four seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, with three Republicans and one Democrat seeking re-election. Polling stations are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. If runoff elections are required, they will be held on June 28th.
Republican Rep. Trent Kelly won a special election in northern Mississippi’s 1st congressional district in 2015 after serving as the district attorney for several northern Mississippi counties. He is endorsed by former President Donald Trump.
Kelly is being challenged in the Republican primary by Mark D. Strauss, who built a picket fence near his home with slogans like “Trump Won” and “COVID Tests are poison.”
The 1st District Democratic primary sits between two primary candidates. Hunter Avery says he supports Medicare for all, and Dianne Black says she wants to expand access to health care and fight climate change.
Mississippi’s only Democrat in Washington, Rep. Bennie Thompson, chairs the House Homeland Security Committee and co-chairs a committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol. Thompson has been in Congress since winning a special election in 1993. The 2nd District now includes most of western Mississippi and much of Greater Jackson.
Thompson faces a key Democratic opponent, Jerry Kerner, who calls Thompson “a credulous supporter of the leadership of the anti-American House of Representatives.”
The main Republican candidates in the 2nd District are Michael Carson, a diesel mechanic who cites former President Ronald Reagan as a role model; Ronald Eller, a retired Army captain championing free enterprise and limited government; Brian Flowers, a military veteran who lost to Thompson in 2020 and now says Thompson is “trying to intimidate American patriots” by investigating January 6, 2021 activities; and Stanford Johnson, a truck driver who campaigns for term limits in Congress.
Rep. Michael Guest was first elected to central Mississippi’s 3rd congressional district in 2018 after serving as district attorney in Rankin and Madison counties. He has campaigned in support of border security and gun rights.
Guest is challenged by Michael Cassidy, a former Navy pilot who criticizes Guest for being in the minority of Republicans who voted to create a committee to investigate the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol; and Thomas B. Griffin, a business owner who says he wants to bring Christian values into schools.
There is no Democratic primary because Shuwaski A. Young was unopposed for the nomination. He will be on the ballot paper for the general election.
Republican US Rep. Steven Palazzo is a military veteran who unseated a longtime Democratic congressman in 2010 in southern Mississippi’s 4th Circuit. Now he faces his greatest field of challengers of all time with six other candidates in the GOP primary.
A 2021 Office of Congressional Ethics report found “substantial reason to believe” that Palazzo had abused office by improperly spending campaign funds, doing favors for his brother, and hiring staff for political and personal errands. Palazzo declined to become fully involved in the investigation, but his spokeswoman at the time, Colleen Kennedy, said it was based on “false allegations” made by an opponent in a previous primary.
Challenging Palazzo for the Republican nomination are Carl Boyanton, a former grocery store owner who lost to Palazzo in the 2020 GOP primary and filed the complaint that prompted the congressman’s ethics investigation; Raymond N. Brooks, who was a Gulfport police officer and says he wants to strengthen border security; Jackson County Sheriff Mike Ezell, who also works on border security; Kidron Peterson, a machinist who says he wants to bring manufacturing jobs back to the US; Clay Wagner, a retired banker who says he wants to limit taxes and regulation; and State Senator Brice Wiggins, who campaigns for border security and has worked to expand access to early childhood education programs.
Two candidates are seeking the Democratic nomination. Johnny L. DuPree is a former mayor of Hattiesburg and was the 2011 Democratic nominee for governor. David Sellers is a minister who says he wants to raise the minimum wage and end mass incarceration.
A Libertarian candidate, Alden Patrick Young, will stand in the 4th Circuit election in November.