Mississippi's 3rd District stays GOP, incumbents win

Published 11-07-2018

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JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Mississippians in the 3rd District elected a Republican district attorney as the state's newest member of Congress on Tuesday, choosing Michael Guest of Brandon over Democratic state Rep. Michael Ted Evans of Preston.

The state's other three congressional incumbents held their seats easily, with Republicans Trent Kelly and Steven Palazzo and Democrat Bennie Thompson winning additional two-year terms.

The election brought strong turnout statewide, driven by a polarized national political environment and two U.S. Senate races .

Voters in Mississippi's western half cast ballots for two Court of Appeals judges, while voters in two state House districts were choosing replacements for House members who resigned.

Here's a look at the races:

U.S. HOUSE 3rd DISTRICT

A Republican prosecutor won an open seat representing Mississippi in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Michael Guest, a longtime district attorney in suburban Jackson, defeated Democrat Michael Ted Evans of Preston and Reform Party member Matthew Holland in Mississippi's 3rd Congressional District on Tuesday.

Winning a competitive Republican primary, Guest supported higher infrastructure spending, immigration changes, and more consumer choice in health care.

Evans ran as a populist-but-conservative Democrat who voiced distaste for Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and opposes abortion. He opposed President Donald Trump's trade policies and supported broader health coverage.

The district has been represented for the last 10 year

A Republican prosecutor won an open seat representing Mississippi in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Michael Guest, a longtime district attorney in suburban Jackson, defeated Democrat Michael Ted Evans of Preston and Reform Party member Matthew Holland in Mississippi's 3rd Congressional District on Tuesday.

Winning a competitive Republican primary, Guest supported higher infrastructure spending, immigration changes, and more consumer choice in health care.

Evans ran as a populist-but-conservative Democrat who voiced distaste for Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and opposes abortion. He opposed President Donald Trump's trade policies and supported broader health coverage.

The district has been represented for the last 10 years by the retiring Gregg Harper. Like Guest, he's a Rankin County Republican. The district runs diagonally across 24 counties from Natchez through the Jackson suburbs and farther northeast to Starkville.

U.S. HOUSE 1st DISTRICT

Republican U.S. Rep. Trent Kelly won a second full term in a north Mississippi congressional seat, defeating Democratic challenger Randy Wadkins.

Winning a competitive Republican primary, Guest supported higher infrastructure spending, immigration changes, and more consumer choice in health care.

Evans ran as a populist-but-conservative Democrat who voiced distaste for Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and opposes abortion. He opposed President Donald Trump's trade policies and supported broader health coverage.

The district has been represented for the last 10 years by the retiring Gregg Harper. Like Guest, he's a Rankin County Republican. The district runs diagonally across 24 counties from Natchez through the Jackson suburbs and farther northeast to Starkville.

U.S. HOUSE 1st DISTRICT

Republican U.S. Rep. Trent Kelly won a second full term in a north Mississippi congressional seat, defeating Democratic challenger Randy Wadkins.

Kelly, a former district attorney, first won election to Congress from the 1st District in 2015 after U.S. Rep. Alan Nunnelee died. Kelly heavily outraised Wadkins, a University of Mississippi chemistry professor.

Kelly, a Mississippi National Guard general, emphasized support for higher military spending. He also called for continued decreases in regulations and supports President Donald Trump on trade.

Wadkins entered the race citing disagreements with Kelly and Trump, especially over health care. Wadkins supported plans for government-funded health insurance for all Americans.

The 22-county district stretches from suburbs of Memphis, Tennessee, to Tupelo and Columbus. Also running was Reform Party member Tracella Lou O'Hara Hill.

U.S. HOUSE 2nd DISTRICT

Democrat Bennie Thompson of Mississippi cruised to his 13th full term in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Thompson won the race in the 2nd District, which spans 26 counties including the Mississippi Delta and parts of the Jackson area, overcoming independent Troy Ray and Reform Party candidate Irving Harris.

A Hinds County supervisor before he was first elected in 1993, the 70-year-old Thompson is in line to become chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee if Democrats retake the majority in Congress.

U.S. HOUSE 4th DISTRICT

U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo has won a fifth term in the U.S. House.

The Republican Palazzo defeated Democratic state Rep. Jeramey Anderson and Reform Party member Lajena Sheets on Tuesday.

First elected in 2010, Palazzo touted support for military spending in a district where the largest employer is military shipbuilder Ingalls Shipbuilding. He urged voters to re-elect him as a show of support to President Donald Trump.

Anderson had called for broader health coverage, an increased minimum wage, and less punitive criminal sentencing.

The district covers 14 counties from Laurel to the Gulf Coast.

COURT OF APPEALS

Voters in two districts in the western half of the state cast ballots to elect new members to eight-year terms on the state Court of Appeals.

The court races are nonpartisan, and if no one wins a majority, runoffs would be held Nov. 27.

In the 2nd District in the Mississippi Delta and parts of Jackson, Deborah McDonald of Fayette was leading Eric Hawkins of Greenville and Ceola James of Vicksburg.

In the 4th district in southwest Mississippi and parts of Jackson, David McCarty of Jackson was leading Hinds County Circuit Judge Jeff Weill of Jackson, with Byron Carter of Byram a distant third.

McDonald raised more than $30,000, the most of the three. She cites experience as a municipal court judge and lawyer for government agencies in southwest Mississippi.

James served four years on the court before losing to Latrice Westbrooks. Hawkins has been Washington County prosecutor and Greenville city prosecutor.

McCarty raised more than $125,000. Endorsed by some Democrats, McCarty says he has more experience arguing cases before Mississippi's appellate courts.

Weill, previously a Republican member of the Jackson City Council, raised nearly $150,000. Although technically running without a party label, Weill was endorsed by the state GOP.

STATE HOUSE ELECTIONS

Voters in state House districts in southwest Mississippi and the Mississippi Delta were choosing replacements for representatives who resigned.

In House District 85, Jeffery Harness and JoAnn Collins Smith were leading, but no candidate looked likely to win a majority. That makes a Nov. 27 runoff likely in the district, which covers parts of Claiborne, Franklin, Jefferson and Warren counties.

In House District 31, eight candidates are competing for a seat left open when Democrat Sara Thomas resigned.

The district covers parts of Bolivar, Humphreys, Sunflower and Washington counties.

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For AP's complete coverage of the U.S. midterm elections: http://apne.ws/APPolitics

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