Incumbent Michael Guest (R) and Michael Cassidy (R) are running in a Republican Party primary runoff in Mississippi’s 3rd Congressional District on June 28, 2022, to determine which Republican candidate will run in the district’s general election on Nov. 8, 2022. Guest has represented this district in Congress since 2019.
In the June 7 primary, Cassidy received 47.5% of the vote, and Guest received 46.9%. In Mississippi, a candidate must receive over 50% of the vote to advance directly to the general election. Since no candidate received a majority of votes on June 7, Guest and Cassidy advanced to the June 28 primary runoff.
Guest has represented Mississippi’s 3rd Congressional District for two terms. He is a member of congressional committees dealing with homeland security, transportation, and ethics. He served as the district attorney for Rankin and Madison counties before being elected to Congress. Guest’s campaign says he has more political experience and has a conservative voting record in Congress. After the June 7 Republican primary, Guest thanked his supporters and said, “It appears we are headed to a runoff on 6/28. I’ll be working to earn your vote because we need PROVEN, conservative leadership with a real record of fighting for our values—that’s the difference in the runoff election!”
Cassidy is a political newcomer and military veteran who said that he is running for Congress to continue serving his country. Cassidy’s campaign says he is more conservative politically than Guest. After the June 7 primary, Cassidy said he was, “grateful to the people of Mississippi’s 3rd Congressional District for giving me the most votes…This is the first step in replacing our current congressman with someone who better represents [our] conservative Mississippi values.”
Guest voted along with thirty-four other House Republicans to create a bipartisan commission to investigate the events of Jan. 6, 2021. According to the New York Times, “the decision to buck their party and former President Donald J. Trump has imperiled several Republicans in their primaries this year” despite the fact that the House’s proposal later failed in the Senate.
Cassidy mentioned this vote when he challenged Guest to a debate after the June 7, 2022, primary: “I am calling on Mr. Guest to give the voters the opportunity to see us debate and so he can be held accountable for voting for the Democrats’ January 6th Commission.”
Guest’s campaign responded saying, “Congressman Guest did not vote for Nancy Pelosi’s Select Committee on January 6th that’s currently in the news…He voted against the Select Committee because he knew it would lead to the witch hunt we are seeing now…[Cassidy] has spent a personal fortune to mislead the people of Mississippi about Congressman Guest’s conservative, Christian character.”
Before the primaries, the Cook Political Report, Sabato’s Crystal Ball, and Inside Elections all rated Mississippi’s 3rd Congressional District as a solid/safe Republican seat. This means that the winner of this Republican primary runoff is very likely to win the general election as well.