Santorum, Incumbents Win Mississippi Primaries

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

Rick Santorum says his team "did it again." He won the Alabama and Mississippi primaries in a tight three-way race with Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney.

Santorum noted that he was outspent and that Romney was supported by the Republican establishment.

Speaking to supporters in Lafayette, La., Santorum got in another dig at Romney. He said he was far outspent by "someone who thinks the race inevitable."

While Romney must regroup, it was Gingrich with the most to lose as he struggled for political survival in a part of the country he hoped would fuel one more comeback in the unpredictable race.

Appearing before supporters in Birmingham, Ala., Gingrich twice referred to remaining in the marathon contest. But he was unusually
complimentary toward Santorum, a contrast to pokes at Romney.

Incumbent U.S. Rep. Gregg Harper of Pearl
won the Republican nomination for Mississippi's 3rd
Congressional District.

Harper defeated challenger Robert J. Allen, a Starkville tea party activist.

The 55-year-old Harper was first elected to Congress in 2008. He campaigned on a platform of reducing government spending, rolling
back federal health care changes and increasing jobs.

Allen, though, said Harper hadn't done enough to cut spending.

As of Feb. 22, Harper had raised $433,000 and had $157,000 on hand.

Before Harper was elected to Congress, he was a lawyer.

In the general election, Harper will face Democrat Crystal Biggs of Florence and Reform Party member John "Luke" Pannell.

Incumbent U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson won
the Democratic nomination in Mississippi's 2nd Congressional District.

Thompson defeated challenger Heather McTeer, former mayor of Greenville.

The-64-year-old Thompson said he wanted to keep working to bring jobs and federal money to the district, which includes the Delta and most of the city of Jackson.

McTeer, 36, said he hadn't done enough to alleviate poverty.

Thompson is Mississippi's longest-serving House member. He was mayor of Bolton and a Hinds County supervisor before first winning election to in Mississippi's only majority-black House district in
1993.

In the general election, Thompson will face three others. Republican Bill Marcy of Vicksburg, formerly of Meridian, was not opposed in the
Republican primary. Also on the ballot are Reform Party member Lajena Williams and independent Cobby Mondale Williams of Canton.

Incumbent U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo of Biloxi has the Republican nomination in Mississippi's 4th
Congressional District.

Harper defeated fellow Republicans Ron Vincent, a Hattiesburg tea party activist, and Cindy Burleson, also of Hattiesburg.

The 42-year-old Palazzo is seeking a second term after defeating longtime Democratic incumbent Gene Taylor in 2010 in the south Mississippi district.

An accountant, Palazzo served five years in
the state House of Representatives before defeating Taylor.

Palazzo raised $568,000 according to a February filing, with $306,000 on hand. Vincent, the only other candidate who filed, raised about $5,000.


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