by Hunter Dawkins, Publisher/Owner – thegazebogazette@gmail.com

Jackson County Sheriff Mike Ezell easily won the Fourth Congressional District beating two opponents by nearly three quarters of all the votes cast.

This allowed the national Republicans to retain control of the seat after he beat former Congressman Steven Palazzo in the GOP primary runoff on June 28, 2022.

Ezell defeated Democrat Johnny DuPree and Libertarian Alden Patrick Johnson in the general election for the 4th Congressional District.

Ezell is the sheriff of coastal Jackson County and lives in Pascagoula. DuPree is a former Hattiesburg mayor and was the 2011 Democratic nominee for governor. Johnson is a local firefighter in Petal.

Ezell criticized Palazzo for proxy voting — not showing up in person to vote in the House but allowing another member to vote in his place.

The Office of Congressional Ethics said in 2021 it found “substantial reason to believe” Palazzo abused his office by misspending campaign funds, doing favors for his brother and enlisting staff for political and personal errands.

His spokesperson at the time, Colleen Kennedy, said the investigation was based on politically motivated “false allegations.” With 122,128 votes of 74.1%, Ezell won every county in the congressional district.

In Harrison County, (the largest of the congressional district and second in the state), Ezell received 27,030 votes 0r 69.1%.

Additionally, two female judicial candidates sailed through the general election ballots in Harrison County.

First, Second Circuit Court Judge Lisa Dodson was victorious over Bay St. Louis Municipal Court Judge Stephen Maggio for the Circuit Court seat.

Dodson had 28,861 of the votes while Maggio finished with 18,126 of the votes. Dodson was re-elected to this position, which encompassed Harrison, Hancock & Stone Counties.

Judge Dodson doubled up in Harrison County, where she received 23,767 votes.

Secondly, Assistant District Attorney Alison Baker won the Harrison County Judge position. Judge Gaston Hewes will retire at the end of the year and chose to seek re-election.

Baker won the race for Harrison County Court Judge Place 1 and received 21,903 votes while her opponent Mark Watts received 13,954 votes.

Baker has prosecuted prominent cases for the District Attorney. Watts is a Biloxi attorney with strong family ties in Jackson county.