The third round of the congressional district runoff between U.S. Representative Michael Guest and incoming candidate Michael Cassidy turned into a bitter affair that included offensive ads, name-calling and specific questions about who the real Republican was.
For a few hours after it became apparent last week that novice candidate Cassidy had secured the largest number of votes in the US House of Representatives seat in the Third District and imposed a run-off on June 28 against the incumbent guest, politics — not politics — seemed to be the focus.
The Cassidy campaign sent out a news release the day after Election Day promoting its “Enhanced Enhanced Family Policy,” a $10,000 per-child federal tax deduction for “working families not currently receiving government assistance.”
But as the candidates and their supporters maneuver ahead of the June 28 run-off, the focus has been neither the child tax deduction nor any other policy. Both sides criticize each other with negative attacks – including support for childcare policy.
audio notation: Notable Runoffs in Mississippi’s Congress
The Congressional Leadership Fund, a nationally influential PAC group dedicated to electing Republicans to Congress and with close ties to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, sped along with the guest with a TV ad attacking Cassidy for supporting costly programs, such as Medicare for All. Medicare and a $20,000 payment for the newlyweds.
“Reno is another liar,” the ad said, referring to the often-used attack term that refers to “not only Republicans.” The ad continues: “Michael Cassidy Hides His Socialist Agenda.”
Cassidy, who says he would rally with the ultra-conservative faction of Freedom if elected to the US House of Representatives, called the guest “Reno.”
Cassidy, a former Navy fighter pilot, said on his campaign website that he supports what he believes will be the same health care for all Americans as what is provided by members of the military.
In response to his accusation of subsidizing Medicare, Cassidy said, “Within a week or two, I’ve decided this is going to cost a lot of money and that there are more conservative options, such as tort repair and allowing insurance to be purchased across state lines” for everyone. “I have never raised this issue during the election campaign or in any advertisements, publications or mail that we have sent out.”
The proposal, though, along with wedding stipend and other proposals at an estimated cost Tens of trillions of federal money over 10 years It was promoted on Cassidy’s campaign website until the June 7 election.
U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde Smith of Mississippi also joins the fight to defend a guest. According to the Federal Election Commission’s website, Hyde Smith’s Mississippi Victory PAC spends $6,800 opposing Cassidy.
And of course, the candidates attack each other in dueling advertisements. Cassidy criticized a guest for joining Democratic President Joe Biden in sending money to Ukraine to combat Russian attacks.
“Ukraine is not in our national interest, but the fight against inflation and illegal immigration is beneficial,” Cassidy’s declaration said.
A guest ad read, “Mississippi doesn’t need rugs. It needs wallets. Wallets like Michael Guest.”
The ad indicates that Cassidy is an out-of-state. He moved to Meridian as part of his naval military commitment and registered to vote in the state last year, according to the guest announcement.
The two sides face each other on the other charges as they campaign for the run-off on June 28. A run-off is needed because none of the candidates secured a majority in the June 7 Republican primary.
All voters registered in the Third District who did not vote in the June 7 Democratic primary will be eligible to vote in the runoff.