By Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Alan Nunnelee cinched a second term in Tuesday’s general election after beating four challengers, including Democrat Brad Morris.
With 90 percent of the precincts reporting, Nunnelee won 60 percent of the 1st District votes.
Others on the ballot were Libertarian Party candidate Danny Bedwell, Constitution Party candidate Jimmie Ray Bourland and Chris Potts of the Reform Party.
“Thank you, Mississippi. It’s an exciting night,” said 54-year-old Nunnelee, of Tupelo, who celebrated his victory among family members and supporters at the Lee County Republican Headquarters on North Gloster Street. “But tomorrow we have to get back to work.”
Nunnelee then reiterated many of his campaign promises. Chief among them, he said, is putting Americans back to work by removing the uncertainty surrounding the marketplace.
“That starts with removing the uncertainty around Obamacare,” Nunnelee said, referring to the the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. “I’ll continue my efforts to repeal it.”
The congressman also thanked Morris for running a clean and respectful campaign despite the men’s political differences.
Morris, an Oxford attorney who had campaigned hard across the region, had called Nunnelee earlier to congratulate him on the win.
“I want my Congress and my congressman to be successful,” Morris, 37, told the Daily Journal by phone from his election-watch party at City Grocery in Oxford. “They have big issues to tackle, and I hope they deal with them.”
During his campaign, Morris had pledged support for the health care act and promised to protect the society safety nets – Medicaid, Medicare, college tuition aid and Social Security – that have benefited his and other Northeast Mississippi families.
“I focused on the issues we believe impact the lives of families,” said Morris, former chief of staff for Nunnelee’s predecessor, then-U.S. Rep. Travis Childers, D-Miss.
“Tomorrow we’ll wake up and decide how we can serve in other ways,” he added.
Nunnelee will finish his two-year first term on Jan. 3 and immediately begin his second term.
During his first run in 2010, Nunnelee had won 121,074 ballots – or 55.26 percent of the votes against Childers and seven other minor-party or independent candidates.
Other U.S. House winners in Mississippi are Democrat Bennie Thompson in District 2, Republican Gregg Harper in District 3 and Republican Steven Palazzo in District 4. All had faced one or more opponents.