Palazzo, Ezell head to runoff for 4th Congressional District Republican nomination

Republic voters in South Mississippi will head back to the polls in three weeks after a close...
Republic voters in South Mississippi will head back to the polls in three weeks after a close race to decide which GOP candidate will go on for a chance to represent the Mississippi 4th Congressional District.(WLOX)
Published: Jun. 7, 2022 at 10:56 PM CDT
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BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - Republic voters in South Mississippi will head back to the polls in three weeks after a close race to decide which GOP candidate will go on for a chance to represent the Mississippi 4th Congressional District.

Incumbent Steven Palazzo will head to the runoff with 32% of the vote as of election night.

“It’s an honor to serve south Mississippi, and it’s something I do not take for granted. I’m grateful for our supporters and volunteers who worked hard in this election and who will work hard to help us over the next three weeks. We now turn our attention to the run-off, and we will not be out-worked. We will continue talking to voters about what we’ve been able to accomplish and our plans for promoting policies to restore economic growth, secure our borders, and keep Americans safe,” said Congressman Steven Palazzo in a statement sent to WLOX. “I thank all of the voters for the faith they have put in me, and trust that they will support me again on June 28 so we can continue to fight the dangerous agenda of Congressional Democrats and take back a Republican majority.”

Palazzo will face Jackson County Sheriff Mike Ezell, who received 25% of the Republican primary vote as of election night.

No matter who you voted for yesterday, I’m asking for your vote in the June 28 runoff election because we must have a change in who represents us in Congress,” Ezell said in a statement. “The issues are serious, the stakes are high and we now have a clear choice about who can best represent South Mississippi in Congress. Now more than ever, we need someone with firsthand law enforcement experience in Congress. In this runoff election, there’s a big difference between the candidates in terms of record, experience and work ethic. Over these next three weeks, I’ll be working as hard as I can to earn your vote in the June 28 runoff—because I’m the candidate who will show up, speak up and stand up for our conservative values—every day.”

Who Palazzo would face in the June 28th runoff came down to the wire. Mike Ezell and Clay Wagner were separated by mere hundreds of votes during the night. In the end, Ezell edged out Wagner by a margin of more than 1,000 votes.

In a statement sent to WLOX, Wagner thanked his supporters and threw his support behind Ezell.

“I want to thank every single one of the over 11,000 South Mississippians who supported my campaign and gave their time and effort for our cause. I always stood up for what I thought was right and I always spoke my mind - which isn’t an easy thing to do in politics. I’ve gotten to know Sheriff Mike Ezell over this campaign and I want to offer him my complete endorsement. He will serve South Mississippi well and I will be doing what I can to help make him our next congressman. Thank you all,” Wagner said.

Former Hattiesburg mayor Johnny DuPree secured the Democratic nomination with 86% of the unofficial vote.

Absentee and affidavit ballots still have to be counted before these results are made official.

One Libertarian candidate, Alden Patrick Johnson, will be on the ballot in November.

The general election is set for November 8, 2022.

Mississippi’s 4th Congressional District includes Hancock, Harrison, Jackson, Pearl River, Stone, George, Marion, Lamar, Forrest, Perry, Greene, Jones and Wayne counties, as well as a portion of Clarke County.

CLICK HERE to see the full breakdown of Tuesday’s results.

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