Cassidy won the new counties added earlier this year in redistricting while Guest’s best showing was in the metro area.

To say no one predicted just how close the 3rd Congressional District Midterm Republican Primary Election would be in Mississippi on Tuesday is an understatement.

Political newcomer, and fairly recent new resident of Mississippi, Michael Cassidy came out early on Tuesday, gaining the lead in the Central District race and never really letting go of it.  There was a short period of time where Congressman Michael Guest was shown with over 50% but there was an error in the tabulations when reporting came in for the Rankin County boxes and Cassidy jumped back ahead once that was rectified.

As it stands now, with 89% of precincts reporting, Cassidy holds a 528 vote lead over Guest, or 48% to 47%.  Thomas Griffin, the third candidate in the race, drew nearly 6%.

The turnout in the 3rd District was very low, with only some 45,000 going to vote.  That is nearly half of the 2014 midterm primary election in the district which saw 93,000 turnout.  In 2018, 65,000 voted in that Republican primary election.  Not having a statewide or national top of ticket draw for voters certainly hurt overall voter enthusiasm.

It was the first time Guest had to run under the new Congressional maps following this year’s redistricting. Cassidy drew over 50% in the new counties added to the 3rd District in the Southwest area and he also took the precincts in Jones County that were carved out, winning those with over 49% of the vote.

Guest was strongest in Rankin, Scott and Oktibbeha counties, but Cassidy was effective in narrowing the gap or winning much of the others.

A runoff looks likely and could be determined later today as the final boxes and absentee ballots are tabulated. That runoff would be June 28th.

Cassidy shared this tweet early Wednesday morning:

“Just like Rome wasn’t built in a day, it appears our mission to bring America First representation to the Mississippi Third won’t happen in a day either. We’ll be energetically back into the fight in the morning!”

The eventual Republican nominee will face Democrat Shuwaski Young in the November General Election.

UPDATE – Wednesday, Noon:

There will be a runoff in the 3rd District between Cassidy and Guest.

Congressman Guest shared this statement soon after the news broke of the runoff:

“Thank you for your support in the primary election yesterday. It appears we are headed to a runoff on June 28 and I’ll be working hard to earn your vote because we need proven, conservative leadership in Congress with a real record of fighting for our values. That’s the difference in this runoff election and I’m asking for your help to make sure we get out a big vote on June 28 so we can take back the U.S. House in November.”