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Saturday in-person absentee voting for GOP runoff in District 2 begins this week

Mississippi will have one congressional primary runoff on April 2, which means in-person absentee will be open for the next two Saturdays across District 2.

The race, which features Republicans Ron Eller and Andrew Smith, will put the winner head-to-head on Nov. 5 against longtime Democratic Congressman Bennie Thompson. Thompson, who has become a brand name in Washington, is seeking a 16th term.

Eller and Smith, on the other hand, are both looking to break into the political scene as neither has ever held office. After failing to secure the Republican nomination back in 2022, this is the closest Eller has been to going up against Thompson. The West Virginia native who has called Mississippi home for over two decades is a small business owner and works as a cardiothoracic physician assistant at St. Dominic’s Hospital in Jackson. He’s running on what he calls the “E-3 Plan,” which prioritizes education, economics, and energy.

“When we look at education, we need to be teaching people about the greatness of America. We need to get rid of this woke agenda. We need to be training that next group of tradesmen, doctors, lawyers, and businessmen,” Eller said. “We need to improve the economics of not only the entire state of Mississippi but the Delta … We need to be using all of our resources and not hamstringing the people and the American economy for a pie-in-the-sky dream.”

RELATED: Mississippi Senate passes bill that would allow no-excuse early voting

Smith, an insurance agent by trade, has been a presence on the campaign trail visiting all 28 counties plus the parts of Hinds and Madison that encompass District 2. His biggest concerns are utilizing the Mississippi River to boost tourism, creating jobs, bettering infrastructure, and solving the ever-lingering Yazoo Pumps Project.

“You’ve got to build the pumps in order to build economic development in that region. Nobody’s going to go put millions of dollars into somewhere that’s going to get flooded, right?” Smith said. “So, talking to [voters], they want jobs, they want the roads, and they want somebody that’s going to care about them.”

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