Republican primaries move to runoff in red-state Mississippi

Republican primaries move to runoff in red-state Mississippi

Two Republican congressmen from Mississippi, Rep. Steven Palazzo (pictured) and Rep. Michael Guest, are headed toward separate run-offs after a June 7 primary election. 

Republican primaries move to runoff in red-state Mississippi

A Mississippi-based political activist who watched two Republican Party primaries in his state says voters are likely unhappy with two congressmen now in separate run-off elections.

In the wake of the June 7 primary in The Magnolia State, not one but two incumbents failed to hit 50% on the ballot, which would have moved the winner to the General Election and avoided a runoff. So that means Rep. Michael Guest and Rep. Steve Palazzo are facing challengers in the June 28 runoff.

Palin, three others, advance in special election

Sarah Palin, the former governor of Alaska, is moving closer to a seat in Congress after winning a super-crowded free-for-all primary.

Palin and three other candidates will advance to a special general election, which will be held August 16, for the state's only at-large U.S. House seat.

The list of candidates climbed to a whopping 48 names after Rep. Ed Young passed away in March after holding the seat for five decades.  

Palin, now 58, gained national attention as Sen. John McCain’s vice-presidential candidate, where she charged GOP voters with her “mama grizzly” speech at the Republican National Convention. She was endorsed in the race by Donald Trump.

On the crowded ballot, Palin finished with nearly 30% of the vote and finished well ahead of the second-place finisher, Nick Begich III, who got 19%. Begich comes from a wealthy family of Democrats but is a Republican.

The winner of the August runoff will serve the remainder of Young's term, which ends in January.

Reacting to Palin’s promising finish, Rob Chambers of AFA Action says the congressional candidate has proven she can be bold and confident but can “temper” that with common sense.

“And I think it would be a welcome voice,” he says, “in Congress."

Rob Chambers, vice president of AFA Action, the political arm of the American Family Association, says two run-off elections in red-state Mississippi suggest the incumbents were not the favored candidate on the ballot.

“So that's showing an anti-incumbent sentiment,” he insists. “The people in the state of Mississippi, they're solid conservatives and they have become awakened.”

Rep. Guest, a former county district attorney, represents the 3rd District. He was elected in 2018 after surviving an eight-person primary that also moved to a runoff at the time.

Rep. Palazzo, a CPA, has represented the state’s 4th District since 2011 after challenging Rep. Gene Taylor, a moderate Democrat.

Since winning office, the GOP lawmaker has been subjected to controversies over his military record in the Mississippi National Guard and over campaign payments. A watchdog group flagged re-election campaign payments that went to Palazzo's own property, which was being used for a campaign office, and to his wife’s accounting firm. The lawmaker denied wrongdoing and cooperated with an ethics investigation into the payments, news outlets reported last year.

According to IVoterGuide, which is overseen by AFA Action, Palazzo is rated “Conservative” and his run-off opponent Mike Ezell is rated “Conservative.”

In the 3rd District runoff, Guest is rated “Leans Conservative” and challenger Michael Cassidy is rated “Conservative.”

Chambers, Rob (AFA Action) Chambers

According to Chambers, Guest angered voted after the Republican voted to establish the biased, Democrat-led January 6 Commission that is holding hearings right now.

“[Guest] sided with Nancy Pelosi, Liz Cheney and a whole host of what we call the Tuesday Group Republicans,” Chambers complains, “which is a moderate to liberal-leaning wing of the Republican Party in Congress."

Chambers says both Guest and Palazzo supported Title X funding in Congress, which ensured abortion giant Planned Parenthood received federal dollars for family planning services.

Editor's Note: AFA Action is an affiliate of the American Family Association, the parent organization of the American Family News Network, which operates AFN.net.