A voter walks out of the Galloway Elementary, precinct 10, during Mississippi's Primary Election Day, Tuesday, August 6, 2019. Credit: Eric J. Shelton/Mississippi Today, Report For America

Over 30,000 Mississippians get stories like this delivered to their inboxes for free.

Sign up for The Today, our daily newsletter, and continue to read this story.

The candidates for the four U.S. House seats are set and will be on the ballot later this year even though the boundaries for those four seats are currently being challenged in federal court.

The NAACP and other groups are charging in federal court that the Legislature’s redrawing of those four U.S. House seats dilutes Black voting strength. That case is pending before a three-judge panel.

READ MORE: Mississippi NAACP questions constitutionality of redistricting plan

But the federal lawsuit has thus far not changed the timeline for the election. March 1 was the deadline for candidates to qualify to run for the congressional seats. The party primary election is set for June 7, and the general election is scheduled for Nov. 8.

Those qualifying in the 1st District, which includes much of north Mississippi, is Republican incumbent Trent Kelly. He will be challenged in the party primary by Mark D. Strauss. Democrats running for the post are Hunter Avery and Dianne Black.

In the 2nd District, Democratic incumbent Bennie Thompson appears to be unopposed in the primary election. Jerry Kerner, who filed papers to challenge Thompson, was ruled ineligible by the state Democratic Party, according to the Secretary of State’s office.

The Republicans qualifying to seek the 2nd District post are Michael Carson, Brian Flowers, Ronald Eller and Stanford Johnson. The 2nd District includes much of the western side of the state — including the Delta — and is the largest congressional district.

Two Republicans, Michael Cassidy and Thomas Griffin, are vying against incumbent Republican Michael Guest for the 3rd District slot. The Democrats in the race are Rahim Talley and Shuwaski Young. The 3rd District includes much of east and central Mississippi and stretches into parts of the southwest area of the state.

The incumbent facing the most opposition is 4th District Republican Steven Palazzo. He is being challenged by six Republicans and two Democrats for the 4th District seat that includes much of south Mississippi, including the populous Gulf Coast counties.

The Republicans are Brice Wiggins, Raymond Brooks, Mike Ezell, Clay Wagner, Kidron Peterson and Carl Boyanton.

The Democrats in the race are Johnny DuPree and David Sellers. Libertarian Alden Patrick also is running in the 4th District.

All of the state’s congressional districts are considered safe — the 1st, 3rd and 4th — for the Republicans and the 2nd for the Democrats. The federal lawsuit, in part, contends that if African Americans were not placed in the 2nd in such large numbers that some of the other districts might be more competitive.

The lawsuit is ongoing in part because the Legislature redrew the districts earlier this year based on population changes found by the 2020 Census.

READ MORE: Lawmakers redraw congressional districts for first time since early 1990s


We want to hear from you!

By listening more intently and understanding the people who make up Mississippi’s communities, our reporters put a human face on how policy affects everyday Mississippians. We’re listening closely to our readers to help us continue to align our work with the needs and priorities of people from all across Mississippi. Please take a few minutes to tell us what’s on your mind by clicking the button below.


Republish our articles for free, online or in print, under a Creative Commons license.

Bobby Harrison, Mississippi Today’s senior capitol reporter, covers politics, government and the Mississippi State Legislature. He also writes a weekly news analysis which is co-published in newspapers statewide. A native of Laurel, Bobby joined our team June 2018 after working for the North Mississippi Daily Journal in Tupelo since 1984. He is president of the Mississippi Capitol Press Corps Association and works with the Mississippi State University Stennis Institute to organize press luncheons. Bobby has a bachelor's in American Studies from the University of Southern Mississippi and has received multiple awards from the Mississippi Press Association, including the Bill Minor Best Investigative/In-depth Reporting and Best Commentary Column.