Skip to content
Mississippi Democrats field candidates...

Mississippi Democrats field candidates in all 4 Congressional Districts ahead of 2022 midterms

By: Frank Corder - September 15, 2021

Election results are likely to remain the same with Republicans holding 3 of the 4 Districts come November 2022.

Mississippi Democrats have now fielded candidates in each of the state’s four Congressional Districts ahead of the 2022 midterms, a feat they were not able to do just two years ago.

Below is a listing of the Democrats who have filed organization papers with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) along with a profile of those candidates’ campaigns and a breakdown of each district race.

First District

  • Hunter Avery

Avery is currently the lone challenger to incumbent Republican Congressman Trent Kelly. Avery filed with the FEC back in April.

His Facebook group is listed as his campaign website. That group has 23 members. Avery has not posted much about his campaign in that group but has expressed his support for unionizing.

Avery has another Facebook page with 21 followers. He posted the video below in May.

Avery posted a picture of an online fundraising effort showing he had raised $976 in March but to date he has not filed any campaign finance reports with the FEC.

Congressman Kelly has routinely filed his campaign finance reports, the latest showing he has $164,000 cash on hand.

There is no reasonable thought that says Avery will have a real chance to unseat Kelly in 2022. Other candidates could join the race but for now these are the only two who have filed to run.

Second District

  • Bennie Thompson

Thompson is the Democrat incumbent Congressman and is currently the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. Thompson is also serving as the chair of Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s select committee investigating the January 6th riot at the U.S. Capitol.

Thompson is a loyal Democrat on both the state and national levels, and that loyalty has helped him pull in over $1.6 million in campaign cash of hand as of the last filing with the FEC.

Congressman Thompson will continue to hold the Second District seat as long as he wants, barring a change in voter demographics which is not likely even as redistricting looms in the coming months.

Two Republicans have announced runs against Thompson, but whichever wins that primary will face a steep uphill battle that has proven to be insurmountable to this point. No third party candidates have announced runs in this district.

Mississippi’s Second District will stay with Thompson for the foreseeable future.

Third District

  • Shuwaski Young
  • Rahim Talley

Young and Talley have both filed to run as Democrats in the Third Congressional District, vying to see who will meet incumbent Republican Congressman Michael Guest.

Neither Democrat has a campaign finance report on file with the FEC.  Congressmen Guest’s latest report shows him with $253,000 cash on hand.

Shuwaski Young

Young filed to run in August. He is a former Obama and Clinton campaign staffer who has also worked as a Democratic Party organizer in California. Young spent time working in the Mississippi Secretary of State’s office before a stint with the Department of Homeland Security.

According to Young’s campaign website, he supports the Democrats’ “For the People Act” and the “John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.” He wants to see “equal access to high-quality food, water, and health care” and more investment in the state’s infrastructure including efforts to mitigate against climate change.

Like Young, Talley filed to run in August. He served in the U.S. Army and the National Guard, and is the Executive Director of the African American Leadership Network and previously served as Chairman of the Community Relief Foundation non-profit.

Talley’s campaign website says he is a “strong supporter of the 2nd Amendment” but wants to see universal criminal history checks for gun purchases and improve the rules on individual to individual sales. Talley alludes to support for Medicaid expansion, saying, “We need legislation to make the ACA more affordable and provides coverage for all American’s.” He touts a need for greater emphasis on vocational training and workforce development, as well as supporting increased teacher pay.

No third party or Republican primary challengers to Guest have filed as of this reporting.

Redistricting could impact voter demographics a bit in the Third District but incumbent Republican Congressman Guest remains the odds on favorite to retain this seat in 2022.

Fourth District

  • David Sellers

Democrats did not field a candidate in the Fourth Congressional District in 2020, handing incumbent Republican Congressman Steven Palazzo an unopposed general election win.

Now, Congressman Palazzo is facing a crowded Republican primary with four challengers already in the race as questions swirl about Palazzo’s use of campaign finances amidst an ongoing ethics inquiry in the U.S. House.

May be an image of 2 people and people standing

In late August, Democrat David Sellers filed to run in the Fourth District. The campaign website he lists on his FEC filing currently does not exist, and no campaign finance reports have been filed.

By comparison, Palazzo shows a cash on hand balance of $320,000 according to the latest FEC filing.

Sellers does have a campaign Facebook page. No information on issues or positions is shown on the page. However, he notes on the About section that he is a “Pastor. Husband. Father. Running for Mississippi’s 4th Congressional District to give South Mississippi a leader who listens.”

Two third party candidates are also running in the Fourth District, bringing the total candidates announced so far to eight.

Redistricting could impact the Fourth District if a stronghold such as Jones County were to be split or move to the Third District to accommodate changes in the Second District. However, whichever candidate emerges from the Republican primary, increasingly likely through a runoff, should win the November 2022 general election.

South Mississippi voters have not endorsed a Democrat since Palazzo defeated Gene Taylor in 2010, and even then Taylor was often viewed as the conservative choice for years prior to his relationship with Nancy Pelosi being brought to light.

About the Author(s)
author profile image

Frank Corder

Frank Corder is a native of Pascagoula. For nearly two decades, he has reported and offered analysis on government, public policy, business and matters of faith. Frank’s interviews, articles, and columns have been shared throughout Mississippi as well as in national publications such as the Daily Caller. He is a frequent guest on radio and television, providing insight and commentary on the inner workings of the Magnolia State. Frank has served his community in both elected and appointed public office, hosted his own local radio and television programs, and managed private businesses all while being an engaged husband and father. Email Frank: