Mississippi’s U.S. Senate special election is headed to a runoff, and the state’s voters will either elect a woman to the office for the first time ever or a black man for the first time since Reconstruction.
Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith and Democrat Mike Espy advanced Tuesday from a field of four. They compete in a Nov. 27 runoff, and the winner will serve the final two years of a term started by Republican Sen. Thad Cochran, who retired in April.
Republican Gov. Phil Bryant appointed Hyde-Smith, who was state agriculture commissioner, to temporarily succeed Cochran until the special election is decided. She is the first woman to represent Mississippi in Congress, but no woman has been elected to the job from the state. She is endorsed by President Donald Trump.
Espy is a former congressman and former U.S. agriculture secretary.
A Republican prosecutor has won an open seat representing Mississippi in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Michael Guest, a longtime district attorney in suburban Jackson, defeated Democrat Michael Ted Evans of Preston and Reform Party member Matthew Holland in Mississippi’s 3rd Congressional District on Tuesday.
Winning a competitive Republican primary, Guest supported higher infrastructure spending, immigration changes, and more consumer choice in health care.
Evans ran as a populist-but-conservative Democrat who voiced distaste for Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and opposes abortion. He opposed President Donald Trump’s trade policies and supported broader health coverage.
The district has been represented for the last 10 years by the retiring Gregg Harper. Like Guest, he’s a Rankin County Republican. The district runs diagonally across 24 counties from Natchez through the Jackson suburbs and farther northeast to Starkville.
Republican U.S. Rep. Trent Kelly has won a second full term in a north Mississippi congressional seat, defeating Democratic challenger Randy Wadkins.
Kelly, a former district attorney, first won election to Congress from the 1st District in 2015 after U.S. Rep. Alan Nunnelee died. Kelly heavily outraised Wadkins, a University of Mississippi chemistry professor.
Kelly, a Mississippi National Guard general, emphasized support for higher military spending. He also wants to keep decreasing regulations and supports President Donald Trump on trade.
Wadkins entered the race citing disagreements with Kelly and Trump, especially over health care. Wadkins supported plans for government-funded health insurance for all Americans.
The 22-county district stretches from suburbs of Memphis, Tennessee, to Tupelo and Columbus. Also running was Reform Party member Tracella Lou O’Hara Hill.
U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo has won a fifth term in the U.S. House.
Palazzo defeated state Rep. Jeramey Anderson and Reform Party member Lajena Sheets on Tuesday.
First elected in 2010, Palazzo touted support for military spending in a district where the largest employer is military shipbuilder Ingalls Shipbuilding. He urged voters to re-elect him as a show of support to President Donald Trump.
Anderson had called for broader health coverage, an increased minimum wage, and less punitive criminal sentencing.
Palazzo raised nearly $700,000 since 2017 began, compared to $131,000 for Anderson.
The district covers 14 counties from Laurel to the Gulf Coast.
Democrat Bennie Thompson of Mississippi cruised to his 13th full term in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Thompson won the race in the 2nd District, which spans 26 counties including the Mississippi Delta and parts of the Jackson area, overcoming independent Troy Ray and Reform Party candidate Irving Harris.
A Hinds County supervisor before he was first elected in 1993, the 70-year-old Thompson is in line to become chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee if Democrats retake the majority in Congress.
Thompson, arguably the most powerful African-American politician in Mississippi, has emerged as a frequent critic of President Donald Trump.
The incumbent raised nearly $900,000 over the last two years a Federal Election Commission report shows, while neither Ray nor Harris filed campaign finance reports.
Republican Sen. Roger Wicker has been re-elected in Mississippi, keeping the seat he has held since 2007.
Wicker defeated Democratic state Rep. David Baria and two others Tuesday.
Wicker was elected to the House in 1994, when Republicans gained control of Congress halfway through President Bill Clinton’s first term.
After Republican Sen. Trent Lott resigned in late 2007, then-Gov. Haley Barbour appointed Wicker to temporarily fill the seat. Wicker won a special election in 2008 to complete Lott’s term, and was re-elected in 2012.