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Special Election Set for Mississippi Congressman's District (Updated)

Updated 4:45 p.m. |  A special election in Mississippi's 1st District will take place on May 12 , according to The Associated Press. The winner will succeed the late Rep. Alan Nunnelee, a Republican who died on Feb. 6  after a battle with brain cancer.  

Nearly a dozen Republican candidates are mulling bids in this safe Republican district, which GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney carried with 62 percent in 2012.  

All candidates who qualify for the race will run on the same ballot, regardless of party. If none of the candidates receive at least 50 percent of the vote, the race will head to June 2 runoff between the top two vote recipients.  

The field will likely be crowded, and there is no clear front-runner, Mississippi GOP operatives say.  

One candidate, state Rep. Chris Brown of Aberdeen, announced a bid just hours after Gov. Phil Bryant called the election.  

Other potential candidates include:

  • Trent Kelly, the district attorney for the First Circuit Court District in Mississippi, which includes the counties of Alcorn, Itawamba, Lee, Monroe, Pontotoc, Prentiss and Tishomingo.
  • Mississippi Transportation Commissioner Mike Tagert, whose current office encompasses the entire 1st District.
  • Boyce Adams, who lost a bid for the Mississippi Public Service Commission in 2011 to Democrat Brandon Presley, a relative of singer Elvis Presley.
  • Quentin Whitwell, a former member of the Jackson City Council who moved back to Oxford in the past year.

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