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MS02: Thompson draws Democratic...

MS02: Thompson draws Democratic opponent critical of own party

By: Frank Corder - December 27, 2021

Two Republicans have also filed to run in the 2022 midterm.

Gerald “Jerry” Kerner has filed to seek Mississippi’s 2nd Congressional District seat in the 2022 midterms next year. Kerner, a former candidate for Mayor in Clinton, is a Democrat who will be challenging incumbent Congressman Bennie Thompson.

According to his campaign website, Kerner says he is running because Mississippi is misrepresented in Congress as evidenced by those who are going along with and tolerating the “un-American Legislation being introduced and voted on this year in the US House of Representatives.”

Gerald Kerner

“We can, and will, rectify this situation by sending to Congress a person who appreciates and embraces the Values and Principles of this Great State, and who has the integrity and courage to stand by them,” Kerner’s site states.

Kerner is a native of California but moved to Mississippi “several years ago for a job.” He stayed in state and now owns a small business.

“Mississippi is my home; I cannot imagine living or wanting to live anywhere else,” Kerner writes. “I am running for Congress to preserve Mississippi’s way of life, which truly is a wonderful place to live.”

The Democratic candidate calls out the “current un-American administration occupying the White House,” saying Biden’s Administration has “tried to ignore the Rights and Liberty of the People by promoting chaos at our Southern border, by Unconstitutional ‘mandates’ created to attempt to nullify the Bill of Rights, and by using tyrannical measures to try to silence dissent and create an irrational fear of each other among the People.”

Kerner says many elected officials have “cowardly joined in these un-American activities, and have voted for several Unconstitutional pieces of Legislati​on attempting to promote election fraud, attempting to reward criminals who enter our Country illegally and shamelessly attempting to buy votes with the illusion of ‘free stuff.'”

Any fair political pundit would opine that Kerner’s chances are slim to none in the Democratic primary versus Thompson. In the 2020 Democratic primary, Thompson defeated challenger Sonia Rathburn 94% to 6%.

Congressman Thompson has represented Mississippi’s 2nd Congressional District since 1993. He is Mississippi’s lone Democrat in its federal delegation and is the dean, or longest serving member, in the delegation.

Thompson is among the upper echelon of his party in D.C., chairing both the House Homeland Security Committee and Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s select committee to investigate the January 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol.

In his almost 30 years, Thompson has amassed a campaign war chest of over $1.7 million, making him the odds-on favorite to retain the 2nd District seat no matter who runs against him under the current or proposed mapping.

Mississippi’s 2nd Congressional District will indeed look a little different after the Legislature adopts the new redistricting plan, adding four counties to account for some 65,000 people who have fled the district in the last ten years. However, the district will retain a strong Democratic voting population.

Thompson has taken some heat in recent weeks at home after he asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to review a Trump Administration approval for the Yazoo Pumps that would help with the flooding in the Delta, the main portion of the 2nd Congressional District. That letter to the EPA from Thompson led to the agency shutting down the project, angering residents and business owners. To date, Thompson has not clarified why he supported the project to assist his district in state but sought to kill it while in D.C.

Two Republicans have filed to seek the 2nd District seat in 2022. They are Brian Flowers and Jeffrey Keuneke. Flowers was the Republican nominee in 2020, losing to Thompson in the General Election 66% to 34%. That margin was the narrowest win for Thompson in a decade.

The deadline to qualify to run in the 2022 Congressional midterms in Mississippi is March 1, 2022.

About the Author(s)
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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: