WASHINGTON (AP) — Mississippi Republican Rep. Michael Guest, who challenged former President Donald Trump by voting to create an independent commission to investigate last year’s deadly uprising on the U.S. Capitol, won his first ballot on Tuesday – even as his colleague from the same state and party struggled to follow suit.
Guest and Palazzo failed to clear the 50% threshold to win outright in their June 7 primaries. Guest beat former Navy fighter pilot Michael Cassidy, while Palazzo takes on Mike Ezell, the sheriff of a coastal county.
In the same runoff, Sheriff Mike Ezell defeated U.S. Representative Steven Palazzo for six terms in a Republican runoff in Mississippi.
It’s a rare defeat for an incumbent in a Mississippi party primary. The state has a history of sending elected officials to Washington for decades to gain seniority.
Ezell slammed Palazzo after a 2021 report by the Congressional Ethics Office found “substantial reason to believe” Palazzo misused his office by spending campaign funds. A Palazzo spokesperson said the investigation was based on “false allegations” made by an opponent during the 2020 primary.
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Ezell is a sheriff in one of Mississippi’s coastal counties, and he began campaigning for the 4th District seat more than a year ago. He called Palazzo a no-show for skipping debates before the seven-person Republican primary in early June.
Palazzo is a military veteran who ousted a Democratic congressman in 2010.
In November, Ezell will face Democrat Johnny L. DuPree and Libertarian candidate Alden Patrick Johnson.
Congressional runoffs are rare. The Associated Press searched state records dating back 70 years, to 1952, and found that no U.S. representative from Mississippi had participated in a party runoff during that time.
Another Trump ally, Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert, one of the most fiery and polarizing members of Congress, easily brushed off a challenge from a more traditional Republican on Tuesday night to clinch her primary — immediately making a difference. she favors her to keep her seat in November .
In Illinois, Republican Rep. Mary Miller, who called the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade a “historic victory for white life” at a rally with former President Donald Trump – her doorstep -spokesman said she misspoke – clashes with fellow incumbent GOP.
Six states hold congressional primaries, primary ballots, or special elections. Many Republican races are testing Trump’s national influence, and others could provide clues as to how voters are reacting to the High Court’s decision on abortion.