JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Three Republicans have now qualified to run for an open congressional seat in Mississippi.
Businessmen Whit Hughes of Madison and Perry Parker of Seminary filed qualifying papers Wednesday to run in the 3rd District.
Michael Guest of Brandon, a district attorney, entered the race Jan. 5, one day after Republican Rep. Gregg Harper said he would not seek re-election to the seat he that first won in 2008.
Hughes is a past deputy director of Mississippi Development Authority, the state agency that seeks to promote job creation. He most recently worked as foundation president and chief development officer for Baptist Health Sytems.
"There's a lot of frustration in Washington, D.C., and voters want leaders to step forward. They want leaders to show backbone and to fight for legislation that aligns with Mississippi priorities, and I want to be that leader," Hughes told reporters just before he filed papers at the state GOP headquarters. "I'm confident I'm going to be the best conservative Republican candidate for this position."
Parker has three decades managing investment portfolios. He could not immediately be reached Wednesday.
Guest is district attorney in Madison and Rankin counties — two of the largest in the congressional district that makes a diagonal across the central part of the state.
No Democrats had filed for the 3rd District race by Wednesday, but state party chairman Bobby Moak said he expects at least one will run.
Candidates' filing deadline is March 1. Party primaries are June 5, and the general election is Nov. 6.