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Republican Voters to Select Rep. Bennie Thompson’s Challenger in Runoff Today

Republicans will choose a candidate to run against incumbent Democratic U.S. House Rep. Bennie Thompson in primary runoffs across Mississippi’s 2nd Congressional District today. The district, which spans most of the state’s west border from Tunica County in the northwest to Wilkinson County in the southwest, includes the Mississippi Delta and the City of Jackson.

Thompson, who has held the seat since winning a 1993 special election, surged to new levels of national prominence after the 2021 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol when he became the chairman of the U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol.

U.S. House Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., chaired the U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol from 2021 to 2023. Thompson, top right, sat in the House gallery on Jan. 6, 2021, where he and fellow members sheltered while rioters attempted to break into the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol. AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Eller and Smith previously faced one another in a three-way match that included Republican candidate Taylor Turcotte in the Republican primaries on March 12 before advancing to today’s runoff. Eller, who unsuccessfully ran for the GOP’s 2nd Congressional District nomination in 2022, won 47% of the vote on March 12 and Smith won 36%.

Whichever Republican candidate wins today’s runoff will face the Democratic incumbent in the Nov. 5 general election. The polls are open today from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The Mississippi Free Press provides a list of voting precincts statewide.

You can learn more about the two candidates below.

Ron Eller, Republican

Background: West Virginia native Ron Eller retired as a captain in the U.S. Army after 20 years of service and many honors, including being named Soldier of the Year. He is currently a surgeon at St. Dominic’s Hospital in Jackson, Miss.

The candidate unsuccessfully sought the nomination to challenge longtime Rep. Bennie Thompson in the 2022 election.

Eller says that while church and state are independent of each other, the church is critical to the integrity of the U.S. and claims the

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