Incumbent Congressman Palazzo faces 6 challengers in June GOP Primary.

Getting all 7 Republican candidates in the 4th Congressional District to agree to a candidate forum is a huge chore, one that the Republican Executive Committees in Jackson and Harrison Counties have pulled off.

The 4th District Republican Candidate Forum has been announced for May 3, 2022, at 6:00pm at the Mary C. O’Keefe Cultural Center in Ocean Springs. Clay Williams and Stopher Haug will be moderating.

The GOP candidates running for the South Mississippi seat and who have all agreed to attend, according to event organizers, are:

  • Congressman Steven Palazzo
  • Carl Boyanton
  • Raymond Brooks
  • Mike Ezell
  • Kidron Peterson
  • Clay Wagner
  • Brice Wiggins

Specifically, the candidates will be engaging in a discussion about issues important to the Gulf Coast, outlining why they are the best choice to carry the mantle from Mississippi to D.C.

Incumbent Congressman Steven Palazzo has the tallest task of all incumbents in Mississippi this election cycle if he is to win a seventh term. The six GOP challengers are actively trying to unseat Palazzo, and at least two of the opponents have reasonable name ID and campaign networks, making the possibility of a run-off more likely than not.

Although, internal polling from the Palazzo campaign obtained by Y’all Politics earlier this year has shown the incumbent Congressman with a sizeable lead in both name ID and favorability.

Challengers are largely using an ethics inquiry regarding the use of campaign funds as the primary talking points against Palazzo. That inquiry is on hold as the House Ethics Committee traditionally does not act or issue opinions ahead of an election, yet the sheer existence of an investigation has led some to view Palazzo as vulnerable in the 2022 Republican Primary.

Palazzo won re-election in 2020 over three Republican Primary challengers, drawing 67% of the vote in the Primary and running unopposed in the General Election. His key committee assignment in the U.S. House that most impacts South Mississippi is his seat on the House Appropriations Committee, where he sits on two subcommittees: the Commerce, Justice, Science subcommittee, and the Homeland Security Subcommittee.

Whichever Republican prevails in the June Republican Primary will have to face either Democrat Johnny DuPree or David Sellers in the November General Election, as well as Libertarian Alden Patrick Johnson.

The South Mississippi district did see some changes in the recent congressional redistricting passed by the Mississippi Legislature. District 4 lost Marion County and four precincts in Jones County, as well as no longer takes in portions of Clarke County. Those areas moved to District 3.

The 4th Congressional District Republican Candidate Forum will be streamed on social media for those who cannot attend in person. For details on where to watch, follow the Jackson County Republican Facebook page here.