Primary roundup: Democrats set for Senate runoff, GOP to 3rd District runoff
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Two Mississippi Democrats will contend in a June 26 runoff for the nomination for a U.S. Senate seat, while two Republicans will go to a runoff in the state’s 3rd Congressional District:
U.S. SENATE PRIMARIES
Incumbent U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker defeated challenger Richard Boyanton in the Republican primary. State Rep David Baria and businessman Howard Sherman of Meridian moved to a runoff for the Democratic nomination.
Also running in November are the Reform Party’s Shawn O’Hara of Hattiesburg and Libertarian Danny Bedwell of Columbus.
U.S. HOUSE 3RD DISTRICT PRIMARIES
Republicans in the 3rd Congressional District will choose between prosecutor Michael Guest and fundraiser Whit Hughes in a runoff, while Democrats are nominating state Rep. Michael Ted Evans. Also running in November is Reform Party member Matthew Holland.
All would like to replace incumbent Republican Gregg Harper, who’s retiring after 10 years in Congress. The district contains 24 counties running diagonally across the middle of the state, from Natchez through the Jackson suburbs and farther northeast to Starkville.
Guest and Hughes are the top two vote-getters in the Republican contest. Guest is chief prosecutor in the Jackson suburbs of Madison and Rankin counties.
“He’s more in line with the agenda that President Trump has than the other candidates,” said Skip McCracken, a 69-year-old Flowood retiree who said he voted for Guest.
Hughes was basketball player at Mississippi State University and deputy director of the Mississippi Development Authority under Gov. Haley Barbour. He’s now a fundraiser for a Baptist hospital system.
“I just know when Whit was at Mississippi State, he may not have been the most talented, but he had the most grit,” said Bill Roach, a 68-year-old Madison retiree who said he voted for Hughes. “I think he’ll work hard for us.”
Guest and Hughes led four other Republican candidates Tuesday, with no one winning a majority. Hughes and Guest were the top two fundraisers, with Hughes raising $430,000 and Guest raising $400,000.
Democrats chose Evans, a chicken farmer from Preston, over Newton police investigator Michael Aycox. Evans, who didn’t file a finance report, says he’ll campaign on improving problems including infrastructure, health care, education and rural internet access.
“I’m going to relate to the people of Mississippi on the issues that are really on their mind right now,” Evans said.
U.S. HOUSE 4TH DISTRICT REPUBLICAN PRIMARY
Voters in south Mississippi’s 4th Congressional District broadly supported incumbent U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo over challenger Brian Rose. A Marine Corps veteran and member of the National Guard, Palazzo touts his support for the military and for tax cuts.
Palazzo will face Democratic State Rep. Jeramey Anderson of Moss Point and Reform Party member LaJena Sheets of Hattiesburg in November.