The Associated Press

FLOWOOD – Pearl attorney Gregg Harper defeated Charlie Ross in the Republican runoff Tuesday in the 3rd Congressional District, setting himself up as a heavy favorite in the Nov. 4 general election.

With 93 percent of precincts reporting, Harper had 25,582 votes, or 57 percent; Ross had 19,059, or 43 percent.

Harper moves on to the general election against Joel Gill, a Democrat from Pickens who is running a low-budget campaign. The winner will succeed Republican Chip Pickering, first elected in 1996.

Harper is former chairman of the Rankin County Republican Party. Ross, of Brandon, is an attorney and former state senator who ran unsuccessfully for lieutenant governor in 2007.

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