JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi is electing a new U.S. House member because a six-term Republican incumbent lost a June primary amid accusations of misspending in a previous campaign.
The state’s three other incumbents each face one challenger.
The open seat is in the southern 4th District, where Republican Mike Ezell, Democrat Johnny DuPree and Libertarian Alden Patrick Johnson are on the ballot.
DuPree is a former Hattiesburg mayor and was the 2011 Democratic nominee for governor. Ezell is the sheriff of coastal Jackson County, and he defeated Rep. Steven Palazzo for the GOP nomination. Ezell criticized Palazzo for proxy voting — not showing up in person to vote in the House but allowing another member to vote in his place.
The Office of Congressional Ethics said in 2021 it found “substantial reason to believe” Palazzo abused his office by misspending campaign funds, doing favors for his brother and enlisting staff for political and personal errands. His spokesperson at the time, Colleen Kennedy, said the investigation was based on politically motivated “false allegations.”
Republican Rep. Trent Kelly is a former district attorney who won a 2015 special election in north Mississippi’s 1st District. He was endorsed by former President Donald Trump in the primary.
Kelly faces Democrat Dianne Black, a business owner who says she wants to expand access to health care and fight climate change.
Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson is chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee and has led the House investigation of the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. He has been in office since winning a 1993 special election in western Mississippi’s 2nd District.
Thompson faces the same Republican he defeated in 2020, military veteran Brian Flowers, who says this year that Thompson “is trying to intimidate American patriots” with the Jan. 6 investigation.
Republican Rep. Michael Guest was also a district attorney and won central Mississippi’s 3rd District seat in 2018. He has campaigned on opposing abortion rights and supporting border security.
Guest faces Democrat Shuwaski Young, a military veteran who has campaigned on supporting abortion rights and protecting Medicare and Social Security.