A Democrat barely missed winning a U.S. House seat from northeast Mississippi Tuesday. (Voting above.) The seat was held by Republican Roger Wicker, who first won in 1994 but left the House to fill the Senate office left by Trent Lott. The largely rural district is centered around Tupelo.
The district has voted overwhelmingly for Republican presidential candidates recently, but Democrat Travis Childers came within 410 votes of winning the seat outright. Childers, a longtime chancery clerk, won 49.4 percent of the vote. He will face Republican Greg Davis, mayor of Southhaven, in a runoff May 13.
The race was polarized between Davis’ home in the suburbs of Memphis and the rest of the district. The two candidates were “practically twins” on social issues, according to the Tupelo newspaper, but Davis favored a withdrawal of troops from Iraq and opposed some of the Bush tax cuts.