Sen. Brice Wiggins, R-Pascagoula, reviews a handout from the Mississippi Department of Human Services presentation, before a working group of legislators, Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2016, at the Capitol in Jackson. Credit: Rogelio V. Solis, AP

State Sen. Brice Wiggins, a Jackson County Republican, announced on Monday he is running for Congress in south Mississippi’s 4th Congressional District.

Wiggins, a former prosecutor who is currently serving in his third term representing Senate District 52, is the sixth Republican to announce a run for the seat held by incumbent Congressman Steven Palazzo.

Palazzo has been the subject of a House ethics investigation for allegedly misspending hundreds of thousands of dollars of 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.

The congressman, who has denied wrongdoing, has not yet filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to run for reelection in 2022.

READ MORE: Ethics report: ‘Substantial’ evidence of Rep. Palazzo wrongdoing

On his congressional campaign website, Wiggins has already taken aim at the incumbent, calling Palazzo part of the “D.C. swamp.”

“We should all be angry that our own member of Congress is under investigation for misappropriating funds as well as using his position to provide unethical and immoral favors to family and friends,” Wiggins said. 

If elected, Wiggins promises to “fight the D.C.-oriented socialist agenda” and advocate for a litany of conservative policy priorities, including cutting federal spending and taxation, securing the southern border and defending the Second Amendment, among others. 

“I have been honored to serve the great people of Jackson County and the interests of South Mississippi for the past 10 years as a state senator,” Wiggins said in a press release. “During that time, as a Senate leader working with state-wide and other legislative leaders, Republicans gained a super-majority in the legislature and South Mississippi has seen its influence grow. As a Congressman, I’ll have an even larger platform to make a difference for all south Mississippians.” 

READ MORE: Jackson Co. sheriff running for Congress seat held by Rep. Palazzo


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Will Stribling covers healthcare and breaking news for Mississippi Today.