While the November general elections are still a few months away, the first leg in several key Mississippi races has been completed as residents went to the polls Tuesday for primary elections.
Beginning with Mississippi’s 1st Congressional District, Republican Rep. Trent Kelly won decidedly over Mark Strauss. Kelly, who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump going into the primary elections, will face off against Dianne Black in the general election.
Black, a longtime salon owner in Olive Branch, is the first Black woman to run for Mississippi’s 1st Congressional District. According to her campaign website, Black is in favor of expanding both access to healthcare as well as legislation that would tackle climate change.
In District 2, Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson handily defeated challenger Jerry Kerner. Thompson is the state’s longest-serving member of Congress at 29 years.
Since being elected in 1993, Thompson’s congressional achievements include authoring legislation to create the National Center for Minority Health and Health Care Disparities, being selected as the first Democratic chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, and serving on the Agriculture, Budget, and Small Business Committees.
Either Brian Flowers or Ronald Eller will go up against Thompson come November 8. Flowers has previously described himself as a fiscal and social conservative. The North Carolina native who now lives in Clinton is running on the notions that the Constitution should be upheld, congressional members should maintain fiscal responsibility, and overall government should be limited with a strong military.
Eller, on the other hand, currently works as a cardiothoracic physician assistant at St. Dominic’s Hospital in Jackson. He is running on what he calls the “E-3 Plan,” one that revolves around education, economics, and energy.
Moving to District 3, Rep. Michael Guest and Michael Cassidy are also heading to a runoff after staying neck and neck throughout Tuesday night and into Wednesday afternoon. Guest is seeking his third term in Congress. Since being elected in 2019, his achievements include authoring the Terrorist and Foreign Fighter Travel Exercise Act of 2019, as well as serving as Vice Ranking Member of the House Homeland Security Committee. The Brandon native also serves on the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and the House Committee on Ethics.
Cassidy, who has made it clear that he is no fan of Guest’s vote to form a January 6 investigative committee, describes himself as a “pro-Trump and pro-American worker” looking to create a nation in which a family can be raised on a single income. Cassidy is also against any COVID-19 mandates and restrictions.
The winner between Guest and Cassidy on June 28 will face off against Shuwaski Young, whose campaign pushes topics such as investing more in underserved communities, providing funds for social advancement programs that focus on racial equality, and creating a diversity pipeline for increased investment in STEM and agricultural growth.
The Republican primary in District 4, which was widely considered the most anticipated race of the seven total, is going to a runoff between Rep. Steven Palazzo and former Jackson County Sheriff Mike Ezell.
Palazzo, tasked with a crowded primary field in part due to him being under investigation by the House Ethics Committee, is seeking a seventh term. During his time in Congress, Palazzo has served on the House Appropriations Committee, the House Armed Services Committee, and the House Homeland Security Committee.
Ezell, the longtime Jackson County Sheriff, has over 40 years of law enforcement experience and is running to “ensure that our families live in a country that still believes in public safety, law and order, individual rights and liberties, ethics and integrity, and a free market economy that rewards hard work.”
The winner will take on former Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny Dupree. Dupree served as mayor for 16 years and was the state’s 2011 Democratic nominee for governor. His campaign stands on rebuilding the economy, making the government more accessible, while also ensuring every Mississippian has a fair shot at the American Dream.
The full results from Tuesday’s primary elections can be found here.