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Three Confirmed Candidates to Run for Vacant Congressional Seat

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Three candidates have confirmed they are running for the U.S. House seat representing District 1 which includes Columbus, Iuka, Louisville Oxford, Southaven and Tupelo. The seat has been vacant since the passing of Republican Alan Nunnelee on Feb. 6.

State Senator Nancy Collins announced she would be running in a press release on Wednesday. Collins, a Tupelo native, has held the role of senator of District 6 since Nunnelee left the position in 2011. She is a graduate of Itawamba Community College and the Mississippi University for Women, and has served as chairman of North Mississippi Interact and as a board member for Sav-a-Life, Boys and Girls Club, Tupelo Christian Women’s Club, Habitat for Humanity and the Family Resource Center.

“I understand the struggles of raising a family. I’ve always embraced challenges and had a deep desire to serve my fellow citizens. We’ve been blessed with advantages such as a good education and should pursue economic development and a fiscally responsible government,” she said in 2011. “I don’t want to shackle our children with debt. We need more jobs we we will have more taxpayers, not more taxes.”

Trent Kelly, also of Tupelo, announced his intentions to run in a press release on Thursday. Kelly currently serves as the District Attorney for Alcorn, Itawamba, Lee, Monroe, Pontotoc, Prentiss and Tishomingo Counties. He is an Iraq War veteran, spent 29 years in the Mississippi Army National Guard and is also currently a Colonel serving as the Brigade Commander of the 168th Engineer Brigade.

“My top priority is a continued focus on jobs and building a strong economy that encourages small business development in Mississippi,” he said in his statement. “I am running because I believe we need leaders who will focus on making our country a better place for our children and grandchildren.”

Oxford-native Quentin Whitwell is also running for the seat, per a Thursday press release. A graduate and Hall of Fame member of the University of Mississippi, Whitwell is an accomplished business lawyer, hospital chief operating officer, entrepreneur and business owner. He was also twice elected as a Republican to the Jackson City Council.

“First and foremost, I’m a Constitutional conservative,” explained Whitwell. “I will distinguish myself as a candidate with a working knowledge of how the Federal system should work for the people. Lowering taxes through needed reforms and balancing our budget is priority number one.”

Potential candidates have until March 27 to qualify for the nonpartisan special election on May 12.

Michael Quirk is a HottyToddy.com staff reporter and can be reached at michael.quirk@hottytoddy.com.

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