The Republican race for Mississippi's third congressional district will go to a runoff.
Charlie Ross won the most votes out of a field of seven candidates. Gregg Harper came in second place, with David Landrum trailing in third.
Ross, a former state senator, was cheered by a crowd of supporters Tuesday night at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum. The 52-year-old Brandon resident told WLBT Tuesday afternoon that he expected to be in a runoff. He said he was excited about leading the pack of qualified candidates.
"It's like we're in the third quarter of a ball game," he said. "But we're going to play it to the final quarter. We're going to play it even harder than we played the first three quarters, but the message is not going to change, because Charlie Ross is the same Charlie Ross. Experience and performance counts."
Results showed that Harper was in the lead for much of the night, but he lost that lead to Ross as the night went on. Harper's supporters were still rallying for him at the Hilton hotel on County Line Road Tuesday night.
Harper is a Pearl resident and city prosecutor for Brandon and Richland. He told us why he believes he stood apart from other candidates.
"There's no doubt that no one has served as much in the trenches of the Republican party as I have and given of themselves and their time to help others," he said.
Landrum waited until more than 90 percent of the ballots had been counted before conceding the race.
A crowd of family and supporters watched the returns with Landrum Tuesday night at the Agriculture and Forestry Museum. He acknowledges that it was a long seven months of campaigning. Now he says he is confident the right person will win in the run-off election.
"I just think this state is going to be in great shape," he said. "The 3rd district is going to be in great shape. Congressman Pickering has done a great job, and he'll have somebody just fine to take his place."
Landrum says he will throw his support behind one candidate, but did not want to disclose whom.
Ross and Harper will meet in a party runoff election in three weeks, on April 1.
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