Wagner is best known on the Coast for his work with Hancock Whitney Bank.

As of this week, a fourth Republican opponent has officially entered Mississippi’s 4th Congressional District race to challenge incumbent Congressman Steven Palazzo.

Palazzo’s ethics inquiry into campaign spending practices raised eyebrows earlier this year, which has led some would-be candidates to believe he is vulnerable at the ballot box.

Longtime Hancock Whitney Bank fixture Clay Wagner filed his statement of organization with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) on September 7th to run for the South Mississippi seat. The filing shows Wagner is using Nashville, Tennessee-based Troy Brewer with Political Financial Management to handle his campaign funds.

Wagner joins what is a growing field to vie for the 4th Congressional District seat in the 2022 midterms.  The Republican challengers so far are Jackson County Sheriff Mike Ezell, police officer Raymond Brooks, and retired businessman Carl Boyanton. Libertarian Alden Johnson and Independent Jesse Hudson have also filed to run.

The field could continue to grow as 2022 nears.

Wagner retired as a Senior Vice President with Hancock Whitney Bank and has served on various local, regional and state boards during his banking career, including the Gulf Coast Chamber Foundation, United Way of South Mississippi, Hancock County Chamber of Commerce and the Red Cross. He has also served as a Commissioner of the Mississippi Wildlife Fisheries and Parks, and is a member of the Nature Conservancy Board, National Oceans and Applied Research Center Board, and the National Rifle Association.

According to his campaign website, Wagner is focusing on five issues: jobs and the economy, conservative values, the Second Amendment, military/first responders/veterans, and communication.

“I believe conservative values are what have kept this country afloat for over two centuries,” Wagner is quoted as saying on his website. “I will do everything in my power to ensure common-sense fiscal responsibility is enforced, the right to life is protected, and that the federal government is limited.”

One of the main reasons he is running, Wagner says, is because he believes a Congressman’s job is to listen to the people, adding that South Mississippi needs “competent representation that will always act in their best interest.”