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HAPPENING FRIDAY: Palazzo, Ezell to debate ahead of June 28th Congressional Runoff

The debate will air live Friday, June 24 at 7 p.m. on WLOX CBS. A rebroadcast is set for Saturday at 4 p.m. on WLOX ABC.
The debate will air live Friday, June 24 at 7 p.m. on WLOX CBS. A rebroadcast is set for Saturday at 4 p.m. on WLOX ABC.
Published: Jun. 10, 2022 at 8:57 AM CDT|Updated: Jun. 20, 2022 at 8:24 AM CDT
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BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - Incumbent Congressman Steven Palazzo and GOP challenger Jackson County Sheriff Mike Ezell will meet for a debate ahead of the June 28 Primary Runoff. The debate will air live Friday, June 24 at 7 p.m. on WLOX CBS. A rebroadcast is set for Saturday at 4 p.m. on WLOX ABC.

Palazzo issued the debate challenge following the primary vote, saying, “Voters deserve to hear directly from both candidates and compare our records before the runoff.”

Ezell’s team pointed out that the sheriff was already part of four other forums during the campaign that Palazzo did not participate in. Ezell himself remains eager for a public debate.

“This is the people’s seat. I think so many times people get up there in Washington and they forget about the back home folks and we’ve heard that over and over again, “Where’s our guy? We want to be able to talk with you and voice our concerns about our country and our state, and that’s very important. It belongs to the people,” Ezell said.

While Palazzo was the top vote getter in Tuesday’s Republican Primary with 32%, it was not a clear victory. Ezell emerged as his top challenger with 25% of the vote. The third place finisher, Clay Wagner, has already asked his supporters to strongly consider voting for Ezell. In fact, every other Republican challenger on this week’s primary ticket has announced their support for Ezell.

Regarding the endorsements touted by Ezell’s campaign, Palazzo said in a statement, “It’s not shocking that local politicians who ran against me in the first primary are endorsing our opponent. This race is now down to two people, and I look forward to debating the issues and comparing the candidates, especially regarding who is best suited to stand up to the disastrous policies of the Biden Administration and Democrats in Congress. A 65-year old freshman in Congress is not going to be able to get done for Mississippi what I can as a subcommittee chairman on Appropriations with seniority in the House. Additionally, Republican primary voters can’t trust a candidate whose campaign is chaired by Democrats to adequately take the fight to Democrats on open borders, inflationary policies, crime, and more.”

Palazzo’s reference to his opponent’s age seems ironic considering the Republican’s strong support for former President Donald Trump, who was 70 when he was first elected to public office.

Ezell, who is actually 63, was taking it in stride. When WLOX News asked if he would debate Palazzo, the sheriff responded, “Yes, even though I’m an old man.”

In a statement earlier this week, Ezell said, “In this runoff election, there’s a big difference between the candidates in terms of record, experience and work ethic... Now more than ever, we need someone with firsthand law enforcement experience in Congress.”

As for the debate between the two candidates, it will air live Friday, June 24 at 7:00 p.m. on WLOX CBS. If you miss the live airing, we will rebroadcast the debate Saturday at 4:00 p.m. on WLOX ABC.

You can hear from both candidates right now in the extended interviews posted below.

Incumbent 4th District Congressman Steve Palazzo joins us to talk about his June 28th runoff with Jackson County Sheriff Mike Ezell.
Jackson County Sheriff Mike Ezell joins us to talk about his June 28th runoff with Incumbent Congressman Steve Palazzo.

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