UPDATE: Miss. 2nd District GOP runoff set for Tuesday

JACKSON — Voters in Mississippi’s 2nd Congressional District will soon choose a Republican nominee to challenge Democratic incumbent Bennie Thompson this fall.

Polls will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday.

The two candidates are Richard Cook, 51, of Byram and Bill Marcy, 64, of Meridian. Marcy lives outside the 2nd District but says he plans to move there.

Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, the state’s chief elections officer, said he expects very light turnout because the 2nd District has the only congressional runoff and temperatures are expected to hit the upper 90s.

“The only thing I would remind people is — it’s hot in Afghanistan, too. Go and vote,” Hosemann said.

Certified results showed Cook received a single vote more than Marcy in the June 1 Republican primary, when a third candidate, was eliminated. Cook had 2,232 votes to Marcy’s 2,231.

Cook is a middle school teacher for gifted students and unsuccessfully challenged Thompson in 2008. Marcy is a retired Chicago police officer.

The Nov. 2 general election ballot will have Thompson, the Republican nominee and a Reform Party candidate.

Thompson first won the 2nd District seat in a 1993 special election and is chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee.

The mostly rural district stretches through the Delta and along the Mississippi River from Tunica County in the north to Jefferson County in the south. Its easternmost point is in Attala County in the north-central part of the state. It also includes most of the capital city of Jackson.

Marcy, traveling to Vicksburg on Monday, said in a phone interview that Thompson has not helped pull the district out of poverty during his 17 years in Washington

“Congress has been very good to him, but he has not been very good to the district,” Marcy said.

Cook, also campaigning on Monday, said he believes conservatives are ready to unseat Thompson.

“Bennie Thompson is one of those who is taking our country from us — tax and spend,” Cook said by phone.

Either of the Republicans could have a tough time catching up with Thompson’s fundraising. The Federal Election Commission website on Monday showed no campaign finance reports for Cook and Marcy. Thompson reported nearly $2.1 million campaign cash on hand as of May 12.

Emily Wagster Pettus/The Associated Press