A voter casts his ballot at a polling station in Ridgeland

2022 Mississippi Primary Election Results

In Mississippi’s primary election Tuesday, Republican U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo is facing his largest-ever field of challengers after a congressional ethics watchdog raised questions about his campaign spending.

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A 2021 report by the Office of Congressional Ethics found “substantial reason to believe” Palazzo, a military veteran who serves on the Appropriations and Homeland Security committees, abused his office by misspending campaign funds, doing favors for his brother, and enlisting staff for political and personal errands. His then-spokesperson, Colleen Kennedy, said the probe was based on politically motivated “false allegations.”

His six opponents include a sheriff, Mike Ezell, and a state senator, Brice Wiggins. If no candidate wins a majority of votes, a runoff will be June 28.

Mississippi’s two other Republican congressmen, Trent Kelly and Michael Guest, face primary challengers who support Trump’s false claims that the 2020 presidential election was stolen.

Associated Press writer Emily Wagster Pettus in Jackson, Miss. contributed to this report.