Feb. 6, 2016 SIGN IN | REGISTER

No Real Challenges for Mississippi Members

Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo
Freshman Rep. Alan Nunnelee shouldn't break a sweat on his run to re-election.

Thompson's office sounded a confident note. "He's prepared to run on his record, and it's a record he's proud of, and we don't expect any surprises," Chief of Staff Lanier Avant said.

3rd district
Incumbent: Gregg Harper
2nd term (68 percent)
Rating: Safe Republican

Harper is probably the safest Member in a safe delegation. His district cuts across the state diagonally, but his path to another term is pretty straight. He faces no serious challengers.

4th district
Incumbent: Steven Palazzo
1st term (52 percent)
Rating: Safe Republican

Palazzo must have breathed a sigh of relief earlier this month when he saw no serious Republican challenger had filed for the primary. And he dodged another potential political pitfall when former Rep. Gene Taylor (D) decided not to go for a rematch.

Before the filing deadline, the freshman Member, who has had trouble getting his office and staff in order, was seen as vulnerable. But the fact that no viable challenger entered the race probably means he was safer than Mississippi politicos thought. And it couldn't have hurt to have powerful friends on his side.

"He may be challenged," former Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) told Roll Call last month, "but I think Steven is well-positioned to get re-elected."

That's even more true now.

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