Mississippi Democrats are nominating state Rep. David Baria to challenge incumbent U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, lining up behind a party stalwart as they reject a bid by a newcomer.
Baria is a Bay St. Louis attorney. He beat venture capitalist Howard Sherman of Meridian in Tuesday’s runoff.
Many Democratic politicians backed Baria, the state House minority leader, arguing that Sherman was an unknown quantity. The husband of actress Sela Ward, Sherman voted as a Republican in California and donated to Wicker. Sherman said that was an effort to prevent a tea party conservative from winning office.
Michael Guest, the chief prosecutor in the Jackson suburbs of Madison and Rankin counties, beat a former state development executive Whit Hughes Tuesday in the GOP runoff for the 3rd Congressional District.
The 48-year-old Guest led the June 5 primary handily, while Hughes ran a distant second.
Guest will face state Rep. Michael Ted Evans of Preston and Reform Party member Matthew Holland in November.
The district has been represented for the last 10 years by Gregg Harper, a fellow Rankin County Republican who is retiring. The district contains 24 counties running diagonally across the middle of the state, from Natchez through the Jackson suburbs and farther northeast to Starkville.