JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Mississippi held party primaries Tuesday to choose nominees for a U.S. Senate seat and four congressional seats:
Mike Espy won the Democratic nomination, easily defeating two challengers. He will face Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith and Libertarian candidate Jimmy Edwards in November.
Hyde-Smith is an ally of President Donald Trump. She was appointed to serve temporarily when Republican Sen. Thad Cochran retired in early 2018. In November 2018, Hyde-Smith defeated Espy in a hard-fought special election to occupy Cochran’s seat for the remaining two years of the six-year term.
Espy is a former congressman who served as U.S. agriculture secretary in the 1990s. In the primary Tuesday, he defeated Tobey Bernard Bartee and Jensen Bohren.
Bartee is a former military intelligence officer who was eliminated in the first round of voting in the 2018 special election for Senate. Bohren is a former teacher who unsuccessfully challenged Republican U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker in 2018.
U.S. HOUSE - 1ST DISTRICT
Republican U.S. Rep. Trent Kelly will face Democratic challenger Antonia Eliason in November in north Mississippi’s 1st Congressional District. Neither had opposition in the primary. Kelly is a former district attorney and has been in the House since he won a 2015 special election. Eliason is a law professor at the University of Mississippi.
U.S. HOUSE - 2ND DISTRICT
U.S. House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson easily won the Democratic primary in Mississippi’s 2nd Congressional District, which stretches along the Mississippi River, through the Delta and into Jackson.
Thompson defeated Sonia Rathburn, who owns a chiropractic business.
Thompson has been in Washington since winning a special election in 1993. He is the longest-serving member of Mississippi’s current congressional delegation. He is also the only Democrat and the only African American representing the state on Capitol Hill.
In November’s general election, Thompson will face either Thomas L. Carey or Brian Flowers, who are going to a March 31 runoff after neither won Tuesday’s Republican primary.
Carey is a retired real estate agent who ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Senate in 2014. Flowers is a military veteran who works at Grand Gulf Nuclear Station. The candidate eliminated Tuesday was B.C. Hammond. He is a volunteer firefighter and has run unsuccessfully for the Mississippi Legislature.
U.S. HOUSE - 3RD DISTRICT
Republican U.S. Rep. Michael Guest won his party primary in central Mississippi’s 3rd Congressional District.
He defeated radio talk show host James Tulp. Guest is a former district attorney who was first elected to the House in 2018.
Guest will face Dorothy “Dot” Benford, who won the Democratic primary after defeating first-time candidate Katelyn Lee. Benford has run unsuccessfully for several offices.
U.S. HOUSE - 4TH DISTRICT
Republican U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo defeated three party primary challengers in south Mississippi’s 4th Congressional District.
Palazzo is reelected because he faces no opponent in the November general election. He is a military veteran and former state legislator who was first elected to the House in 2010.
On Tuesday, Palazzo defeated Carl Boyanton, Robert L. Deming III and Samuel Hickman. Boyanton is the former owner of a produce business. Deming is a Biloxi City Council member. Hickman worked for U.S. Rep. Trent Kelly in north Mississippi’s 1st District.
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