It’s gone pretty quietly in terms of media coverage, but there’s been a lot of behind the scenes activity in the race to replace Rep. Mark Formby down in Pearl River County. The two big candidates were Stacey Wilkes and Tavish Kelly. Wilkes won without a runoff. She had a history in more traditional political circles. She is in the state GOP committee. She ran a sane campaign targeted at folks to with average or above average intelligence. She won in a four candidate field without a runoff.
Tavish Kelly fashioned himself as a libertarian. He had support from the anti-establishment universe.
Melanie Sojourner, former campaign manager of the Chris McDaniel campaign, was all-in.
As were the folks at Texas (err Mississippi) Conservative Daily. They called Wilkes an “establishment toadie”. A cute little site called the TreadKnot Chronicles also tried to rally the anti-establishment universe around Kelly. In so doing, they concurrently attempted to trash Sen. Angela Hill.
For his own part, Kelly made two big mistakes. First, he was actively against Donald Trump. Second, he made his support for Chris McDaniel a campaign issue.
To further the body count, and in relatively surprising fashion, Rep. Joel Bomgar from Madison dropped in $12,000 of his own campaign funds into Kelly’s race. Bomgar has been active at putting money into races since he was first elected and has made bets against both fellow House incumbents, and now here again with Kelly.
HD 108 is about as red meat a district as there is. Wilkes made no secret about her larger political leanings.
I guess the bigger political question is, if anti-establishment candidates couldn’t even get their chosen candidate in a runoff here, where else on earth could they get a candidate elected? If this race was in any way a proxy for 2018, some folks are probably now rethinking their plans.