Senator Wicker has drawn primary and general election challengers next year, while freshman Congressman Ezell has two opponents so far in the 4th Congressional District Republican Primary. Primary voting is just five months away.
While most of the attention in Mississippi’s political world is focused on the statewide General Election less than a month away, the 2024 congressional and presidential primaries are quickly approaching.
Magnolia State voters will return to the polls in five months on March 12, 2024, to choose their party’s nominee for all four congressional seats as well as the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Roger Wicker while also voting for their party’s presidential nominee.
Here is a look at who has filed to run with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) in Mississippi and where they stand in terms of campaign finances as of the required October 2023 reporting that covers fundraising between July and September.
Incumbent U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, a Republican who has served in the Senate since 2007, is sitting on $4.95 million cash on hand, far outpacing any other federal candidate in Mississippi seeking re-election next year. In his most recent report, Wicker’s campaign raised $874,000. Of that, nearly 70% came from individual contributions while the remainder was donated by political committees.
State Representative Dan Eubanks is challenging Senator Wicker in the Republican Primary. No FEC finance reporting is showing for the Eubanks campaign. Eubanks filed his Statement of Candidacy with the FEC in July.
Eubanks is currently in his second term in the Mississippi House of Representatives and was unopposed for re-election in the House District 25 seat this year.
On the Democratic side, Ty Pinkins filed his Statement of Candidacy in December 2022 and has been actively campaigning ever since. However, in early September, Pinkins was named as the substitute candidate for the Mississippi Democratic Party in this year’s Secretary of State race when nominee Shuwaski Young withdrew for health reasons.
Since Pinkins has been campaigning for the state position, the Democrat has raised just under $3,000 for his U.S. Senate bid, bringing his total for the recent FEC reporting period to $18,600. His Senate campaign is showing $4,000 cash on hand.
As for this state race, Pinkins’ October filing in the Secretary of State’s race shows that his campaign raised $14,800 and has $12,600 cash on hand heading into the last month before the November General Election where he will face incumbent Republican Secretary of State Michael Watson on the ballot.
1st Congressional District
Thus far, the only declared candidate in Mississippi’s 1st Congressional District is incumbent Republican Congressman Trent Kelly. His campaign raised $157,000 in the recent reporting period and has $445,000 cash on hand in his bid for re-election.
Kelly won a special election in 2015 and is in his fourth full term in the U.S. House of Representatives.
2nd Congressional District
Democratic incumbent Congressman Bennie Thompson in the 2nd Congressional District is also currently unchallenged as of now, according to FEC filings. Thompson added $137,000 in this latest reporting period, pushing his cash on hand to over $1.7 million.
The state’s lone Democratic federal official is in his 15th term in the U.S. House of Representatives, first winning the seat in 1993.
3rd Congressional District
Incumbent Republican Congressman Michael Guest looks to have drawn at least one challenger for the 2024 election cycle. Democrat Angel Rios filed his Statement of Candidacy with the FEC in June, but no campaign finance reports are showing at this time.
Guest did file his October report with the FEC, showing the Congressman’s re-election campaign raised $153,000 this period and has $182,000 cash on hand. He is currently in his third term in the U.S. House of Representatives.
4th Congressional District
Freshman Congressman Mike Ezell looks to have the most robust primary of the four Mississippi congressional seats come March. The incumbent Republican is being challenged by perennial candidate Carl Boyanton and newcomer Michael McGill, both of which filed their Statement of Candidacy reports in September.
Ahead of the 2022 primary runoff between Ezell and former Congressman Steven Palazzo, Boyanton was among the group of primary candidates who endorsed Ezell over Palazzo, saying at the time, “I ran with one thing in mind: to get Palazzo out of office.” Now, just over a year later, it appears Boyanton wants to do the same with the first-term Ezell as he has put over $504,000 in his 2024 campaign while raising just under $8,600. Boyanton has $510,000 cash on hand.
Boyanton hasn’t performed well at the ballot box in previous elections, only gaining 9.3% of the vote in the 2020 four-man Republican Primary, putting him last in the field, and 6.2% in the 2022 cycle that featured a seven-man race where he finished fifth. FEC reporting shows Boyanton loaned himself over $500,000 last year as well, of which the campaign paid back $375,000. He only raised roughly $17,000 in individual contributions in his 2022 campaign.
McGill’s pockets do not appear to be as deep as Boyanton’s, as his campaign has thus far only raised $6,200, according to the recent FEC filing, and has $5,500 cash on hand.
As for the incumbent, Congressman Ezell’s campaign reported raising nearly $160,000 this latest period and is sitting on over $150,000 cash on hand. During the 2022 race, Ezell’s campaign reportedly raised and then spent over $1 million, with over 82% coming from individual contributions and just $45,000 loaned from the candidate.
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