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Republican Mike Ezell, who has been sheriff of Jackson County since 2014, is running for Congress in Mississippi’s 4th congressional district — a seat currently held by Rep. Steven Palazzo.
Ezell will formally kick off his campaign in a four-stop tour on Wednesday in Jackson, Harrison, Forrest and Jones counties. The election will be held in 2022.
Palazzo has been the subject of a House ethics investigation for allegedly misspending campaign funds. A congressional ethics report made public in March alleged that Palazzo misspent campaign and congressional funds, and said it found evidence he used his office to help his brother and used staff for personal errands and services.
What’s next for Palazzo remains unclear as the House Ethics Committee could dismiss the allegations, offer its own rebuke of Palazzo, or pass the matter off for criminal investigation to the Department of Justice. The congressman, who has denied wrongdoing, has not yet filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to run for reelection in 2022.
Ezell, 58, has 40 years of service in law enforcement, including working in the Pascagoula Police Department, chief of police of Ocean Springs and now sheriff of Jackson County. He and his wife, Suzette, live in Pascagoula.