Kelly Wins Runoff for Mississippi House Seat

Kelly had the support of Nunnelee's widow, and a base of voters from his role as DA in a number of the district's counties. (Rogelio V. Solis/AP File Photo)

District Attorney Trent Kelly, a Republican, rolled to victory in a special-election runoff in Mississippi's 1st District Tuesday night, The Associated Press reported.  

Kelly, who will succeed the late Rep. Alan Nunnelee, took 70 percent of the vote in his win over Democrat Walter Zinn, according to the AP.  

Mississippi Special Election Heads to Runoff

The race to replace Nunnelee is headed to a runoff. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The special election in Mississippi's 1st District is headed to a June 2 runoff, after none of the 13 candidates in the field captured the necessary votes to win outright.  

In a surprising twist, Democrat Walter Zinn took the first-place spot, with 17 percent when The Associated Press called the race. Zinn advances with Republican Trent Kelly, a district attorney who took the second-place spot with 16 percent. Both are seeking to replace the late Rep. Alan Nunnelee, who died in February after a battle with brain cancer.  

Expect the Unexpected in Mississippi Special Election

Thirteen candidates are vying to succeed Nunnelee. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The special election in Mississippi's 1st District is a political handicapper's nightmare.  

"If anyone tells you they know what to expect on Tuesday, they are lying to you," said Casey Phillips, a GOP ad maker who is working for Republican Greg Pirkle.  

Special-Election Candidate Gets Unlikely Donation

More than a dozen candidates are vying in the Mississippi special election to succeed the late Republican congressman. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

One of the candidates running for the late Rep. Alan Nunnelee’s Mississippi seat got some help from beyond the grave last month.  

Trent Kelly, the district attorney for the First Circuit Court District, received a $4,000 donation from Nunnelee for Congress. Consultants for the late congressman — including one now working for Kelly — told CQ Roll Call the March 27 donation was made at the behest of Nunnelee’s widow, Tori.  

How a Tea Party Favorite May Influence Mississippi Race

McDaniel is a state senator from Mississippi. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Mississippi state Sen. Chris McDaniel, the tea party firebrand who nearly ousted a Republican senator in a primary last year, has attempted to shape the state's upcoming 1st District special election.  

But more than a week since Gov. Phil Bryant set the date to replace the late Rep. Alan Nunnelee, the candidates who fit McDaniel's tea party mold have either passed on a bid or dropped out of the contest. It leaves the rabble-rouser and fellow anti-establishment conservatives without a candidate to support in the two-month sprint to the election.  

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.  

Chris McDaniel Looks to Play in Mississippi Special Election

McDaniel unsuccessfully ran for Senate in 2014. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Flashbacks to last year's brutal Senate primary in Mississippi  have The Magnolia State operatives fretting a special election to replace the late Rep. Alan Nunnelee.  

Nunnelee, 56, died on Feb. 6  after a short battle with brain cancer. Republicans will almost certainly retain his seat in a yet-to-be scheduled special election, but multiple Mississippi GOP operatives expressed concern the race could become a proxy battle between state Sen. Chris McDaniel's tea party supporters and mainstream Republicans who supported Sen. Thad Cochran's re-election in 2014 .  

Alabama: Spencer Bachus Holds On to Avoid Runoff

(Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Financial Services Chairman Spencer Bachus held on to victory in tonight's GOP primary in Alabama's 6th district, clinching the nomination outright and avoiding a runoff after heavily outspending his most serious challenger.

Bachus led state Sen. Scott Beason 58.5 percent to 27 percent, with 79 percent of precincts reporting. Four other candidates were also on the GOP primary ballot. To avoid a runoff, a candidate has to get more than 50 percent of ballots cast.