November 23, 2020

Mississippians re-elect all four U.S. House members

Mississippi is sending all four of its U.S. House members back to Washington.

Two Republicans — Trent Kelly and Michael Guest — and the state federal delegation’s sole Democrat, Bennie Thompson, all bested challengers on Election Day. Republican Rep. Steve Palazzo won his race after running unopposed.

Yet to be decided are several Supreme Court seats and a measure that could put an end to a Reconstruction-era voting law.

U.S. HOUSE — 1ST DISTRICT

Republican U.S. Rep. Trent Kelly has won reelection in north Mississippi.

Kelly, 54, a former district attorney and Tupelo city prosecutor, has been in the House for the state’s 1st District since winning a 2015 special election. A brigadier general in Mississippi’s National Guard, Kelly serves on the House Armed Services Committee, the House Agriculture Committee and Military Personnel subcommittee.

Throughout his congressional career, he has advocated for higher military spending and better healthcare for veterans. He opposes abortion and has voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Kelly defeated self-described democratic socialist and first-time candidate Antonia Eliason, a law professor at the University of Mississippi. Eliason ran in support of “Medicare for All,” increasing minimum wage, marijuana legalization and the Green New Deal.

U.S. HOUSE — 2ND DISTRICT

Rep. Bennie Thompson has won reelection to his U.S. House seat in Mississippi.

Thompson, a Democrat, defeated Republican Brian Flowers, a military veteran who works at Grand Gulf Nuclear Station.

Thompson has been in Washington since winning a special election in 1993. He is chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee.

He is the longest-serving member of Mississippi’s current congressional delegation. He is also the only Democrat and the only African American representing the state on Capitol Hill.

The congressional district includes most of Jackson and stretches along the Mississippi through the Delta. It is the only majority-Black district in the state.

Throughout his congressional career, Thompson has supported relief efforts for parts of the state affected by hurricanes and other weather issues and has worked to pass legislation aimed to lessen racial disparities in the education and healthcare systems.

He served as the chairman of the Democratic National Convention and endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden ahead of Mississippi’s primary in March.

“Our country is in dire need of moral leadership that can end today’s division and hate and bring our country together,” Thompson said then. “Joe has shown that he has character and unmatched skills to lead us and get things done.”

U.S. HOUSE — 3RD DISTRICT

Republican U.S. Rep. Michael Guest will keep his seat in central Mississippi’s congressional district.

Guest, 50, defeated Democrat Dorothy “Dot” Benford, who has previously run unsuccessfully for several offices.

The former district attorney for Madison and Rankin Counties was elected to Congress in 2018. He campaigned as a supporter of law enforcement and has pushed himself as someone who would seek stronger immigration enforcement, saying it would help decrease illegal drugs. Guest serves on the Homeland Security Committee and the subcommittee on Border Security, Facilitation and Operations.

He worked as district attorney in Madison and Rankin counties from 2008 to 2018, after serving as assistant district attorney for almost 15 years.

U.S. HOUSE — 4TH DISTRICT

Republican U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo is keeping his seat in Congress after running unopposed in his south Mississippi congressional district.

Palazzo was a state House member when he unseated Democratic U.S. Rep. Gene Taylor in 2010. Palazzo, 49, is a military veteran and often praises President Donald Trump.

He defeated three Republican challengers for the nomination in March.