Jun 29, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Rep. Michael Guest wins Mississippi primary runoff

Rep. Michael Guest, R-Miss., walks down the House steps after the vote to censure Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., on Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021.
Rep. Michael Guest walks down the House steps on Nov. 17, 2021. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Mississippi Rep. Michael Guest (R) won the state's runoff in the 3rd congressional district on Tuesday, AP reports, after unexpectedly falling behind challenger Michael Cassidy during a primary earlier this month.

Why it matters: Guest, who first won his seat in 2018, split with his party and voted for a bipartisan commission to investigate the Jan. 6 Capitol riot — a vote that Cassidy said made the incumbent "not a conservative."

State of play: Guest lost to Cassidy by almost 300 votes in the June 8 primary, but neither candidate received 50% of votes needed to avoid a runoff.

  • Guest after the primary received an onslaught of support from his Republican colleagues in Washington, including from the Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC aligned with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Roll Call reports.
  • Guest also sought to clarify his positions that came under attack by Cassidy, a Navy veteran, specifically surrounding his support for the bipartisan commission and has rejected Cassidy's claims that he was disloyal to former President Trump, AP reports.
  • Trump did not make an endorsement in the race, but the former president's allies, including Stephen K. Bannon, referred to Guest as "one of these lame never-Trump guys" on his podcast, the New York Times reports.

The big picture: Guest's victory comes as the 35 Republicans who voted to create the commission are largely facing retribution over their vote — or they've retired, Axios' Andrew Solender reports.

  • Almost a third of the House Republicans who voted for the commission either plan to retire this cycle, already resigned or lost their primary.

Go deeper... House Republicans face retirement or retribution over Jan. 6 commission vote

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