North Mississippi voters have decided to send Republican Trent Kelly to Washington as the First District’s next congressman. He won in a landslide with 70 percent of the vote. MPB’s Sandra Knispel was at Kelly’s victory party in Tupelo last night.
Around 300 supporters turned out for what came as no surprise – the all but certain victory of Trent Kelly, a prosecutor from Saltillo. They did not have to wait long – Kelly took the lead right from the get-go, with AP declaring him the winner barely an hour after the polls closed. What came as a surprise was the higher than expected turnout of 98,000 voters that exceeded the original special election in May. A visibly emotional Kelly told his supporters:
“I want to thank all the voters in the First Congressional District. I had a very worthy opponent who ran a good race and I want to be grateful to him for running a good race and the entire race was very clean and very good. And I just want you to know that I will work every day to honor the people in his district and my lord and savior, Jesus Christ. Thank you and God bless you all.”
Kelly and Walter Zinn, a lawyer and political consultant from Pontotoc, had been competing in a special run-off election for the U.S. House of Representatives seat left vacant by the death of Congressman Alan Nunnelee. His widow, Tori Nunnelee, had thrown her full support behind Kelly. She had come to the party with her daughter and one-month-old grandson.
“I am not emotional. It’s surprising to me that I am not. But I am prepared because I knew this night was coming and it’s a good night because in my opinion Trent Kelly represents the Conservative vote that my husband represented and I am now his constituent and I am happy, I am very pleased.”
Kelly ran on a platform of a strong national defense and removing federal restrictions on businesses to promote job growth. The 49-year old father of three will be sworn in soon, albeit the exact date is not yet known.