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.
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.