Ezell knocks down Palazzo, Guest fends off Cassidy in Mississippi runoff

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U.S. Representative Steven Palazzo, representing Mississippi’s 4th District, became the first incumbent congressman to lose a party primary in the state’s recent history when he was defeated by the county sheriff on Tuesday. Jackson, Mike Ezell, during the second round of the Republican primaries.

Another incumbent Congressman, Michael Guest of the 3rd District in central Mississippi, easily survived a run-off challenge from former Navy pilot Michael Cassidy in the Republican primary.

In West Mississippi’s runoff on Tuesday, Brian Flowers defeated Ronald Eller and will run in the November election against incumbent Democrat Bennie Thompson, the only African-American member of the United States House.

Incumbents Guest and Palazzo were forced to run for office because neither got a majority vote in the first primary earlier this month.

Guest, a former district attorney representing Madison and Rankin counties in suburban Jackson, actually trailed campaign novice Cassidy in the first primary vote.

But in the runoff, the Republican establishment and the Guest campaign, which had apparently underestimated Cassidy, campaigned hard, easily outpacing Cassidy. Late Tuesday, with results still in, Guest had a 67% to 33% lead over Cassidy.

Palazzo did not have similar success in the second round. In the late results, Ezell had a 54% to 46% lead over the incumbent.

The Associated Press called both races Tuesday night.

Ezell in his campaign had hit out at Palazzo over a longstanding complaint the 12-year-old incumbent has faced: that he is inaccessible to voters and often absent from the district or Congress. Palazzo was also the subject of a House ethics investigation into allegations that he used campaign and congressional funds for personal expenses.

In 2010, Palazzo was a member of the State House representing Harrison County when he was a surprise candidate against Democratic incumbent Gene Taylor. Most gave Palazzo little chance of upsetting longtime incumbent Taylor, considered a fixture in Gulf Coast politics.

But Palazzo took advantage of the historic Republican wave of 2010 to upset Taylor.

Palazzo’s loss appears to be the first time an incumbent U.S. House member has lost a party primary in Mississippi since 1962. That year, incumbent Jamie Whitten beat fellow incumbent Frank Smith in the Democratic primary after being placed in the same district after Mississippi lost. a seat in the House.

In the 3rd District, Cassidy presented himself as a Donald Trump conservative, but Guest attacked his conservative managers in campaign-ending ads. Cassidy, a Lauderdale County resident, had touted various social spending programs, such as a proposal for universal health care, on his campaign webpage. Cassidy then quit those programs, but not before giving fodder to the Guest campaign.

Cassidy attacked Guest for being a “Republican in name only” and for voting for the proposed Jan. 6 commission to investigate the attacks on the U.S. Capitol. Trump opposed the commission.

In the general election in November, Guest will face Democrat Shuwaski Young. Ezell will face Democrat Johnny DuPree and Libertarian Alden Johnson.

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Ezell knocks down Palazzo, Guest fends off Cassidy in Mississippi runoff

U.S. Representative Steven Palazzo, representing Mississippi’s 4th District, became the first incumbent congressman to lose a party primary in the state’s recent history when he was defeated by the county sheriff on Tuesday. Jackson, Mike Ezell, during the second round of the Republican primaries.

Another incumbent Congressman, Michael Guest of the 3rd District in central Mississippi, easily survived a run-off challenge from former Navy pilot Michael Cassidy in the Republican primary.

In the runoff from western Mississippi’s 2nd District on Tuesday, Brian Flowers defeated Ronald Eller and will run in the November election against incumbent Democrat Bennie Thompson, the state’s only African-American member of the US House.

The incumbents Guest and Palazzo were forced to stand for election because neither received a majority of votes in the election. prima ry premiere earlier this month.

Guest, a former district attorney representing Madison and Rankin counties in suburban Jackson, actually trailed campaign novice Cassidy in the first primary vote.

But in the run-off, the Republican establishment and campaign guests, who had apparently underestimated Cassidy, campaigned hard, easily outpacing Cassidy. Late Tuesday, with the results still in, Guest had a massive 67% to 33% lead over Cassidy.

Palazzo did not have the same success in the second round. In the late results, Ezell had a 54% to 46% lead over the incumbent.

The Associated Press reported both races Tuesday night.

Ezell in his campaign had hit Palazzo out on a long-running complaint the 12-year-old incumbent has faced: that he is inaccessible to voters and often absent from the district or Congress. Palazzo was also the subject of a House ethics investigation into allegations that he used campaign and congressional funds for personal expenses.

In 2010, Palazzo was a member of the state House representing Harrison County when he was a surprise candidate against the Democratic incumbent. Congressman Gene Taylor. Most gave Palazzo little chance of unseating longtime incumbent Taylor, considered a fixture in Gulf Coast politics.

But Palazzo took advantage of the historic Republican wave of 2010 to upset Taylor.

Palazzo’s loss appears to be the first time an incumbent U.S. House member has lost a party primary in Mississippi since 1962. That year, incumbent Jamie Whitten beat fellow incumbent Frank Smith in the Democratic primary after being placed in the same district after Mississippi lost a House seat.

In the 3rd District, Cassidy posed as a Donald Trump conservative, but Guest attacked his top conservatives in campaign-ending ads. Cassidy, a Lauderdale County resident, had touted various social spending programs, such as a proposal for universal health care, on his campaign webpage. Cassidy later quit those programs, but not before giving Guest a hard time.

Cassidy attacked Guest for being a “Republican in name only” and for voting for the proposed January 6 commission to investigate the attacks on the U.S. Capitol. Trump opposed the commission.

In November’s general election, Guest will face Democrat Shuwaski Young. Ezell will face Democrat Johnny DuPree and Libertarian Alden Johnson.

This article was first published on Mississippi Today and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.

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