A voter walks into Twin Lakes Baptist Church in Madison, Miss., Tuesday, November 5, 2019. Credit: Eric J. Shelton/Mississippi Today, Report For America

With a March 1 deadline to qualify to run, numerous candidates are challenging Mississippi’s four incumbent U.S. representatives in the 2022 midterm election.

But at this point only one race — Congressional District 4 in south Mississippi — appears competitive, with six Republicans, two Democrats, an independent and a Libertarian vying to replace incumbent Republican Rep. Steven Palazzo.

Palazzo, first elected in 2010 in an upset over former longtime Rep. Gene Taylor, is seen by some as vulnerable due to an ongoing ethics investigation into his campaign spending. His challengers include a longtime state senator, a Coast sheriff a bank executive and a former longtime metropolitan mayor.

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

Incumbent Republican Reps. Michael Guest and Trent Kelly and Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson, appear more secure, with lesser known, underfunded challengers.

Primaries for Mississippi’s 2022 midterms will be June 7, with any runoffs set for June 28. The general election will be Nov. 8.

Here are declared candidates for the seats:

Congressional District 1

Incumbent Trent Kelly, Republican

Hunter Avery, Democrat

James McCay, Independent

Congressional District 2

Incumbent Bennie Thompson, Democrat

Gerald Kerner, Democrat

Brian Flowers, Democrat

Jeffrey Keuneke, Republican

Congressional District 3

Incumbent Michael Guest, Republican

Rahim Talley, Democrat

Shuwaski Young, Democrat

Congressional District 4

Incumbent Steven Palazzo, Republican

Carl Boyanton, Republican

Raymond Brooks, Republican

Mike Ezell, Republican

Louis Hook, Republican

Clay Wagner, Republican

Brice Wiggins, Republican

Johnny DuPree, Democrat

David Sellers, Democrat

Alden Johnson, Libertarian

Graham Hudson, Independent


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Geoff Pender serves as senior political reporter, working closely with Mississippi Today leadership on editorial strategy and investigations. Pender brings 30 years of political and government reporting experience to Mississippi Today. He was political and investigative editor at the Clarion Ledger, where he also penned a popular political column. He previously served as an investigative reporter and political editor at the Sun Herald, where he was a member of the Pulitzer Prize-winning team for Hurricane Katrina coverage. Originally from Florence, Mississippi, Pender is a journalism graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi and has received numerous awards throughout his career for reporting, columns and freedom of information efforts.