JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mike Ezell has defeated a Democrat and a Libertarian candidate in a south Mississippi congressional race, allowing Republicans to retain control of the seat.
Ezell defeated Democrat Johnny DuPree and Libertarian Alden Patrick Johnson in the southern 4th District. Ezell is the sheriff of coastal Jackson County. DuPree is a former Hattiesburg mayor and was the 2011 Democratic nominee for governor.
In June, Ezell defeated six-term Rep. Steven Palazzo for the GOP nomination. Ezell criticized Palazzo for proxy voting — not showing up in person to vote in the House but allowing another member to vote in his place.
The Office of Congressional Ethics said in 2021 it found “substantial reason to believe” Palazzo abused his office by misspending campaign funds, doing favors for his brother and enlisting staff for political and personal errands. His spokesperson at the time, Colleen Kennedy, said the investigation was based on politically motivated “false allegations.”
Republican Rep. Trent Kelly won another term in north Mississippi’s 1st District. He defeated Democrat Dianne Black, a business owner who said she wanted to expand access to health care and fight climate change.
Kelly is a former district attorney who first won the congressional seat in a 2015 special election.
Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson defeated the same Republican he defeated in 2020, military veteran Brian Flowers.
Thompson is chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee and has led the House investigation of the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. He has been in office since winning a 1993 special election in western Mississippi’s 2nd District.
Flowers said this year that Thompson “is trying to intimidate American patriots” with the Jan. 6 investigation.
Republican Rep. Michael Guest defeated Democrat Shuwaski Young in central Mississippi’s 3rd District. Guest is a former district attorney, and he first won the congressional seat in 2018. He campaigned on opposing abortion rights and supporting border security.
Guest said Tuesday that if Republicans take control on Capitol Hill, “you'll see Congress serve as a check and balance on the administration.” He said Republicans want to rein in federal spending and clear the way for more oil drilling offshore and on public lands.
Young is a military veteran who campaigned on supporting abortion rights and protecting Medicare and Social Security.