Miss. voters toss longtime GOP lawmaker in runoff

Miss. voters toss longtime GOP lawmaker in runoff

U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo (pictured), a Republican who represents Mississippi's 4th District, lost a runoff to GOP challenger Mike Ezell.  

Miss. voters toss longtime GOP lawmaker in runoff

A pair of GOP congressmen in red-state Mississippi were forced into run-off elections in a sign of voter discontentment, and now one of them has lost to a primary challenger.

In the wake of the June 7 primary, incumbents Steven Palazzo and Michael Guest were forced into runoffs after neither lawmaker won 50% of the vote. In the runoffs, Guest handily defeated challenger Michael Cassidy in that 3rd District fight but Palazzo was defeated in the 4th District by challenger Mike Ezell, a county sheriff.

Ezell defeated the six-term incumbent Palazzo 53%-46%, The Clarion-Ledger newspaper reported, and now the winning GOP candidate is expected to easily defeat a Democrat candidate and a Libertarian candidate in November.

The last time a congressman from Mississippi faced a primary runoff was in 1952, the newspaper said, citing research by The Associated Press.

Rob Chambers, vice president of AFA Action, the political arm of the Mississippi-based American Family Association, says it’s unlikely the 4th District that Palazzo represents witnessed Democrats cross over to cast a ballot. That means, he says, that Republican voters in the Gulf Coast area wanted the incumbent gone.

Chambers, Rob (AFA Action) Chambers

“Steven Palazzo had a very high absentee rate in Congress. He's also subject to some ethics investigations,” Chambers says. “I believe that Mike Ezell is a very strong candidate, now soon-to-be congressman. I believe him to be a conservative person."

According to IVoterGuide, which is overseen by AFA Action, Palazzo is rated “Conservative” and Ezell is rated “Conservative.”

In the 3rd District runoff, which Guest won, the incumbent is rated “Leans Conservative” and Cassidy is rated “Conservative.”

Chambers and AFA Action are no fan of Rep. Guest after the GOP congressman voted to create the controversial January 6 Commission. That ongoing congressional inquiring is being described by Republicans as a one-sided show trial designed to focus voters on Donald Trump and to help Democrats before Election Day. 

Despite casting a vote that is now helping Democrats, Guest trounced Cassidy in the runoff 67%-32%.


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.