Tuesday, June 5, 2018
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A district attorney and a former state development executive will meet in a runoff for the Republican nomination for an open congressional seat.
Michael Guest and Whit Hughes led the vote-getters Tuesday in the Republican contest in Mississippi's 3rd Congressional District.
Hughes said at his election watch party, "I've always been an underdog... if I make a runoff, I promise we'll be ready for it." The Jackson Free Press told him as he came off the stage that he had, indeed, made the runoff. He said he's not afraid to be the underdog going into it.
Guest is chief prosecutor in the Jackson suburbs of Madison and Rankin counties.
Hughes was deputy director of the Mississippi Development Authority under Gov. Haley Barbour after serving as his campaign finance director for his 2003 campaign. He's now a fundraiser for the Baptist hospital system.
Both attended Mississippi State University, where Hughes was a basketball player. Guest also received his law degree from the University of Mississippi.
They led four other candidates Tuesday, with no one winning a majority.
The district has been represented for 10 years by retiring Republican Gregg Harper.
Hughes and Guest were the top two fundraisers, with Hughes raising $430,000 and Guest raising $400,000.
The winner of the June 26 runoff faces Democratic state Rep. Michael Ted Evans of Preston and Reform Party member Matthew Holland of Hattiesburg in November.
Additional reporting by Arielle Dreher of the Jackson Free Press.