4th Congressional District Primary Candidate Profiles

PINE BELT, Miss. (WDAM) – Congressman Steven Palazzo is seeking to retain his seat in Washington DC ahead of the primary election.

After garnering 66.8% of the vote in the Republican primary in 2020, Palazzo ran unopposed in the general election.

Running for the seventh time, Palazzo has never been in a second round in the previous six campaigns.

In the primaries on June 7, Palazzo will face 6 other Republican candidates; Farmer Fresh Produce found Carl Boyanton; former Gulfport Police Department officer Raymond Brooks; Jackson County Sheriff Mike Ezell; Kidron Peterson, originally from Poplarville; Gulf Coast Chamber Foundation President Clay Wagner and former 19th Judicial District Assistant District Attorney Brice Wiggins.

In this year’s Democratic primary, former Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree will face Parkway Heights United Methodist Church pastor David Sellers.

Libertarian Petal Fire Department candidate Lt. Alden Johnson will face the winners of the Democratic and Republican primaries in the Nov. 8 general election.



steven palazzo (Incumbent):

  • Palazzo is running for the seventh time and has never been in a second round in the previous six campaigns. After garnering 66.8% of the vote in the Republican primary in 2020, Palazzo ran unopposed in the general election.
  • Born in Gulfport
  • Graduated from St. John’s High School
  • Received a bachelor’s and master’s degree from the University of Southern Mississippi
  • Served in the Marine Corps Reserve, including a period of service in the Gulf War; currently enlisted in the Mississippi National Guard
  • An accountant by profession, he served in the Mississippi House of Representatives (District 116) from 2006 to 2011 before winning a seat in Congress.

Estimate: “Washington needs more values ​​from Mississippi. Faith, family, and freedom are the principles I was raised on and the principles I live by when I represent you in Congress.

Carl Boyanton:

  • Also raced in 2020
  • Founder of Farmer Fresh Produce
  • native of Memphis; moved to Mississippi in the early 1960s
  • Raised/educated in Picayune.

Estimate: “One of the main reasons I’m running for Congress is because of the inept leadership and outright corruption we have in ‘The Swamp’ (Washington, DC).”

Raymond Brooks

  • Born in San Rafael, California.
  • Resident of Mississippi since 1979
  • Served with the Gulfport Police Department for two decades.

Estimate: “I am a true conservative, a constitutionalist and a faithful man of God. For nearly 20 years, I have served the people of southern Mississippi as a police officer, and I have tried to do so with honor, respect, and dedication to my community. I know firsthand what it takes to protect our civil liberties, and I’m prepared to defend them in Washington.

mike ezell

  • native of Pascagoula
  • Graduated from Pascagoula High School in 1977
  • BA from USM in Criminal Justice in 1997
  • 40 years in law enforcement; Jackson County Sheriff since 2014

Estimate: “Since I started my campaign in April (2021), I have worked as hard as I can to earn the trust of the people of this district… (I)t is about time we had a member of Congress who is willing to stand up, stand up and stand up for our state’s conservative values. In Congress, I will use my law enforcement experience to fight for stronger borders, freedoms and individual liberties and to support policing policies and protect the safety of law-abiding citizens.

Cedron Peterson

  • Native/resident of Poplarville
  • Machinist for 21 years at C&C Machine
  • US Army Reserve (2003-11).

Estimate: “My campaign slogan, ‘God. Family. Country. », reflects my values. Serving God, my family and my country are my top priorities.

Wagner clay

  • Resident of the furnace
  • Graduated from Mississippi State University
  • Retired business executive (Senior Vice President of Hancock Whitney Bank)
  • Hancock Chamber Board Member
  • President of the Gulf Coast Chamber Foundation

Estimate: “I am a born and raised Mississippian who wants to see my children and grandchildren and yours have the same opportunities in our state as in other states. I want to see Mississippi prosper and be a place people are proud to call home. I will lead with a conservative Christian foundation that will dictate my decision-making, and I will utilize decades of business experience that will benefit generations of Mississippians. We deserve better.

Brice Wiggins

  • Resident of Pascagoula
  • BA from Tulane University / JD from Mississippi College (JD)
  • Lawyer
  • Three-term state senator (district 52)
  • Served as Assistant District Attorney (19th Judicial District)
  • Partner in Taggart, Rimes and Wiggins.

Estimate: “I am proud to fight every day for our true conservative values. You work hard and deserve honest and loyal public servants, those who put you above themselves – not those who have succumbed to the temptations of power, access and money.


Johnny Du Pree

  • Born in Fort Benning, Georgia; moved to Hattiesburg as a little boy
  • Graduated from Jones County Junior College
  • University of Southern Mississippi (BA, MA)
  • Jackson State University (Ph.D.)
  • Former four-term mayor of Hattiesburg
  • Former Forrest County Supervisor
  • Former administrator of the Hattiesburg Public School District (school board).

Estimate: “I run to make sure every Mississippian has a chance to achieve the ‘American Dream,’ to rebuild our economy and make government more accessible and accountable to the people of our state.”

David Sellers

  • Resident of Hattiesburg
  • Graduated from Jones County Junior College
  • Emory College Divinity Degree
  • Pastor of Parkway Heights United Methodist Church
  • Serves Pine Grove Behavioral Health and Addiction Services; The Open Door Community.

Estimate: “I’m running for Congress because I’m sick of seeing Mississippi at the bottom of all the good lists and at the top of all the bad lists… We can change that by focusing on education, increasing the minimum wage and ending the failed war on drugs.

Libertarian (general election)

Alden Johnson:

  • jackson native
  • resident petal
  • Attended Jones Junior College
  • Lieutenant with the Petal Fire Department
  • Certified Emergency Medical Technician

Estimate: “2020 was just the beginning. Voters are tired of the two ‘main’ parties. Now is the time to make some noise and let the people know that we are the party of true representation and freedom.

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