FILE – In this Feb. 15, 2019, file photo, Rep. Steven Palazzo, R-Miss., speaks during a television news interview on Capitol Hill in Washington. Palazzo is facing six opponents including a sheriff, Mike Ezell, and a state senator, Brice Wiggins, in the 2022 Republican primary. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

by Hunter Dawkins, Publisher –

Following a close Republican primary in early June, the Mississippi 4th Congressional District Representative Steven Palazzo was defeated by Jackson County Sheriff Mike Ezell 54-46% on the Tuesday, June 28 GOP Run-Off.

Mississippi’s Fourth Congressional District serves all three coastal counties and goes slightly past Hattiesburg in the northern section of the region.  Palazzo has served since 2011, after defeating 20-year incumbent; Gene Taylor.

Palazzo was seeking a seventh term and was considered vulnerable after being accused in a 2021 congressional ethics report of abusing his office by misspending campaign funds.  In the last decade; however, Palazzo became known better for his lack of appearance in his own congressional district.

Before getting into the runoff with six opponents on the national scene; relatively unknown Sheriff Mike Ezell, spent his whole career in law enforcement.

Ezell was first elected Sheriff of Jackson County in a Special Election that was held 2014 where he won the General Election in 2015.

The GOP Nominee came to the office of sheriff previously with 35 years of law enforcement experience which includes patrol, traffic, jails, reserves, and as a detective while additionally being assigned to the FBI office for a time.

In Harrison County; the second largest county in the state and Palazzo’s home, the sheriff easily won with 55% of the vote or 7880 ballots cast to Palazzo’s 6430 0r 45%.  Individual communities in The Gazebo Gazette region votes are shown below.

                                         Mike Ezell     Steven Palazzo

East Orange Grove                  416                        339

Gulfport 4                                  44                          52

Gulfport 5                                  67                          56

West Orange Grove                271                        245

DeLisle                                      169                        143

East Pass Christian                 177                        124

Westside                                    75                           57

West Pass Christian                129                       104

Ladner                                       129                       132

West Lizana                              60                          74

West Long Beach                    260                       184

East Long Beach                     201                        188

Long Beach 5                           240                       215

Long Beach 6                           144                        137

Outside Long Beach                 47                         43

Pineville                                    192                       160

Vidalia                                        69                          31

County Farm/Gulf Haven     217                       210

Gulfport 3                                  27                           7

East North Gulfport                27                           4

North Bel Aire                         232                       130

South Bel Aire                           84                         51

West North Gulfport             120                            1

The Associated Press researched state records dating back to 1952 and found that no U.S. representative from Mississippi has been in a party primary runoff during those 70 years.

In the June 7 primary, Palazzo received 31.5% of the vote to Ezell’s 25% in a race with seven candidates.

On November, the winner of the runoff between Palazzo and Ezell will face Democrat Johnny L. DuPree, a former Hattiesburg mayor who was the 2011 Democratic nominee for governor, and Libertarian Alden Patrick Johnson.