Jun 29, 2022 - Politics & Policy
County sheriff Mike Ezell ousts incumbent in Mississippi GOP primary runoff
County sheriff Mike Ezell won a primary runoff on Tuesday to unseat six-term incumbent Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.).
Driving the news: Palazzo, who was running for his seventh term to represent Mississippi's 4th Congressional District, was accused in a congressional ethics report last year of misusing campaign funds.
- Ezell touted his record "tackling corruption and government wrongdoing" as a sheriff, writing in a tweet directed at the incumbent: "that’s something you wouldn’t happen to know about, would you?"
- Ezell won 25% of the vote in a seven-way primary earlier this month, while Palazzo won 32% of the vote, forcing the candidates into a runoff since neither of the candidates reached the 50% threshold to win.
The big picture: Ezell's victory is something of an upset, as Palazzo led significantly in fundraising totals. Palazzo has reported $337,000 in contributions since the primary, compared with Ezell's $171,000, Roll Call reports.
- Ezell's victory is the latest example of a Republican House lawmakers seeking re-election and struggling to secure their party's nomination , Axios' Andrew Solender reports.
- Two Republican incumbents have already lost primaries this cycle: Reps. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.), who had myriad scandals, and Rep. David McKinley (R-W.Va.), who was seen as disloyal to former President Trump, Solender notes.
Go deeper... Two more incumbent House Republicans forced into primary runoffs