Mississippi holds party primaries Tuesday for its four U.S. House seats, with three Republicans and one Democrat seeking reelection. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. If runoffs are needed, they will be June 28.
Republican Rep. Trent Kelly won a 2015 special election in north Mississippi's 1st Congressional District after serving as district attorney for several counties in north Mississippi. He is endorsed by former President Donald Trump.
Kelly is challenged in the Republican primary by Mark D. Strauss, who has a picket fence near his home painted with slogans including “Trump Won" and “ COVID tests are poison."
The 1st District Democratic primary is between two first-time 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 lone Democrat in Washington, U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson, is chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee and co-chairman of a committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. Thompson has been in Congress since winning a 1993 special election. The 2nd District now encompasses most of western Mississippi and much of the metro Jackson area.
Thompson faces one Democratic primary opponent, Jerry Kerner, who calls Thompson “a gullible follower of the anti-American House leadership."
The 2nd District Republican primary candidates are Michael Carson, a diesel mechanic who cites former President Ronald Reagan as a role model; Ronald Eller, a retired Army captain who is campaigning on 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 the activities of Jan. 6, 2021; and Stanford Johnson, a truck driver who advocates congressional term limits.
U.S. Rep. Michael Guest was first elected in 2018 in central Mississippi's 3rd Congressional District, after serving as a district attorney in Rankin and Madison counties. He has campaigned on supporting 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 Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol; and Thomas B. Griffin, a business owner who says he wants to put Christian values into schools.
No Democratic primary is being held because Shuwaski A. Young was unopposed for the nomination. He will be on the general election ballot.
Republican U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo is a military veteran who unseated a longtime Democratic congressman in 2010 in south Mississippi's 4th District. Now, he faces his largest-ever field of challengers, with six other candidates in the GOP primary.
A 2021 report by the office of Congressional Ethics found “substantial reason to believe” Palazzo had abused his office by misspending campaign funds, doing favors for his brother, and enlisting staff for political and personal errands. Palazzo declined to fully participate in the investigation, but his spokeswoman at the time, Colleen Kennedy, said the 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 produce business owner who lost to Palazzo in the 2020 GOP primary and filed the complaint that prompted the ethics investigation of the congressman; Raymond N. Brooks, who has been a Gulfport police officer and says he wants to strengthen border security; Jackson County Sheriff Mike Ezell, who is also campaigning on border security; Kidron Peterson, a machinist who says he wants to bring manufacturing jobs back to the U.S.; Clay Wagner, a retired banker who says he wants to limit taxation and regulation; and state Sen. Brice Wiggins, who is campaigning on 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 Hattiesburg mayor and was the Democratic nominee for governor in 2011. David Sellers is a minister who says he wants to increase the minimum wage and end mass incarceration.
A Libertarian candidate, Alden Patrick Young, will be on the 4th District ballot in November.
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