Three of the four Congressional incumbents likely to cruise to re-election. The South Mississippi district is the one to watch.
The 2022 Congressional Midterm Primaries in Mississippi are next week.
Tuesday, June 7th, Mississippians in both political parties will head to the polls to choose their nominees heading into the November General Election. It will be the first time the state’s voters will choose their U.S. Representatives under the new congressional district maps drawn and approved during the 2022 Legislative session.
Below is a sample ballot for each of the party primaries as provided by the Mississippi Secretary of State’s office.
Polls for the June 7th Primary will open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. Any voter in line at 7 p.m. is legally entitled to cast a ballot.
The Secretary of State’s office reminds voters that several counties have changed polling places since the 2020 elections. As such, officials strongly recommend voters verify their polling place with the local Circuit Clerk before Election Day.
- Incumbent Congressman Trent Kelly faces a primary challenge from Mark Strauss. Kelly remains the odds-on favorite to win both the Republican Primary and the General Election, securing his fourth term.
- Hunter Avery and Dianne Black will vie to move on to the General Election. Neither are positioned to give the Republican nominee – likely Congressman Kelly – any real challenge in November.
- Michael Carson, Ron Eller, Brian Flowers and Stanford Johnson are all competing to be the Republican nominee in the General Election. No matter who emerges as the winner, the deck is stacked against them as they will most certainly face incumbent Democrat Congressman Bennie Thompson in November.
- Incumbent Congressman Bennie Thompson is being challenged by Jerry Kerner. Even with an expanded district, Thompson remains the favorite in this Primary and in the General Election and will soon have been in Congress for 30 years.
- Incumbent Congressman Michael Guest is looking to secure this third term in Congress but will being challenged in the Republican Primary by Michael Cassidy and Thomas Griffin. Griffin will no doubt finish third in this grouping with Cassidy just ahead of him. Odds are Guest wins the Primary and also wins the General Election in November.
- After initially having multiple Democrats in the race, all but one – Shuwaski Young – dropped out ahead of the Primary. Young is the lone Democrat and will move on to the General Election where he is likely to face incumbent Republican Congressman Guest.
- Including incumbent Congressman Steven Palazzo, there are seven GOP candidates in the South Mississippi District 4 Republican Primary. The challengers are Carl Boyanton, Raymond Brooks, Mike Ezell, Kidron Peterson, Clay Wagner and Brice Wiggins. Palazzo, seeking a 7th term in Congress, faces his toughest re-election test yet on Tuesday, with a runoff increasingly likely given the large field of candidates. Conventional election wisdom would give a nod to Palazzo as the top vote getter on Tuesday. However, the big question is how close Ezell, Wiggins or Wagner (the three most likely to finish in the top tier) can get to the incumbent. The other three candidates are likely to draw few votes, relatively speaking, but those “also ran” votes could impact the order at the top and set the runoff ticket or even determine whether Palazzo makes the cut. If Palazzo gets in a runoff, he could be in trouble on the next ballot. But Palazzo is no stranger to knocking out a crowded Primary field. The incumbent bested three challengers in the 2020 Primary and four in the 2014 Primary. Whoever ultimately wins the Republican Primary will most certainly win the November General Election.
- Johnny DuPree and David Sellers are vying to be the Democratic Party nominee heading to the General Election. Neither have the campaign funds to make a real race of it heading to November, and whoever wins will be at a significant disadvantage as the 4th District has increasingly grown more Republican following Congressman Palazzo’s initial election win over former Democrat Congressman Gene Taylor in 2010.
Also on the Ballot in Select Areas
Tuesday is also the Board of Mississippi Levee Commissioners General Election Day for Bolivar, Humphreys, Sharkey and Washington Counties. The Secretary of State’s office encourages voters to contact their county Circuit Clerk’s Office to view a General Election sample ballot before heading to the polls.
Primary and General Election Day Reminders
The Mississippi Secretary of State’s office released the following election reminders as you plan to go vote on Tuesday:
- In-Person Absentee Voting Deadline: The last day to absentee vote in-person is Saturday, June 4th. Circuit Clerk Offices will be open from 8 a.m. to noon.
- Mail-In Absentee Voting Deadline: All Primary and General Election mail-in absentee ballots must be postmarked by June 7th and received by County Circuit Clerk Offices within five business days of June 7th in order to count.
- Polling Place Location: Please contact your County Circuit Clerk’s Office or local Election Commissioners to verify your polling place.
- Voter Photo ID: Voters are required to show photo identification at the polls. A voter without an acceptable form of photo identification is entitled to cast an affidavit ballot.
- Campaigning: It is unlawful to campaign for any candidate within 150 feet of any entrance to a polling place, unless on private property.
- Loitering: The polling places should be clear for 30 feet from every entrance of all people except elections officials, voters waiting to vote, or authorized poll watchers.
- Camera Phones: Voters are prohibited from taking pictures of their marked ballot.