1st Congressional District race wide open

The race for Mississippi’s 1st District U.S. House seat left open by the death of Rep. Alan Nunnelee is a shootout of epic proportions, with 13 candidates running in Tuesday’s special election.

The large field makes a runoff a near certainty. An abbreviated special election schedule and near-parity in name ID, campaign cash and constituencies makes handicapping the race difficult. Each candidate appears to have at least an outside shot at making it into a June 2 runoff.

Civic clubs, religious denominations, military, medical — candidates are trying to lock down any constituency they can in a race where turnout is predicted to be low and a second-runner could make a runoff with a small percentage of the vote.