TUPELO • Incumbent U.S. Rep. Trent Kelly will represent Northeast Mississippi in Washington for the next two years after winning re-election to his House seat by a wide margin on Tuesday night.
With all of the congressional district's precincts reporting, unofficial votes show, Kelly, a Republican, won about 70.37% of the vote. His Democratic opponent, Antonia Eliason, won about 29.63% of the total vote.
Early results show the Republican Party continues to strongly support Kelly in Northeast Mississippi. Unofficial results showed Kelly won every county in the 1st Congressional District, with the exception of Clay County, which Eliason led by three points.
In Lee County, Kelly’s home county, he received 15,326 votes, according to the unofficial results. Eliason received 6,033 votes. Neither tally included absentee votes.
Kelly at an election night event told supporters the federal government was committed to combating the COVID-19 pandemic, and that in the House, he would work to pass bills that promote fewer regulations for private business and better trade deals with foreign countries.
Regardless of which party gains a majority in the House, Kelly said he hopes that people can work together to pass legislation instead of “doing what’s best for parties.”
“I think we’ve got to come together as a nation,” Kelly said. “I think we need to quit focusing on what we disagree on and start focusing on the things that bring us together. I hope President Trump will be our president, and I hope we’ll hold the Senate.”
In Congress, Kelly currently serves on the House Armed Services Committee, where he is the ranking member of the military personnel subcommittee, and the House Committee on Agriculture.
The Saltillo resident said he hopes to return to those two committees and continue advocating for increased services and benefits for the nation’s veterans and their families and to ensure trade deals and supply chains benefit Mississippi farmers.
“I’m on the committees where I think I help Mississippi the most,” Kelly said in a previous interview. “I want to continue to focus on helping the military stay ready and fit.”
Kelly defeated Democratic challenger Antonia Eliason, a law professor at the University of Mississippi in Oxford. She ran as a democratic socialist and sought to bring an energized grassroots campaign to the region and usher issues of poverty, inequality and criminal justice reform to the forefront of her campaign.
However, Eliason ultimately raised little money for her campaign and could not build a strong coalition of voters needed to win in the conservative district.
Kelly is a resident of Saltillo and previously served as a district attorney for Mississippi’s first judicial district. He first won election to the state’s 1st congressional seat in 2015 after successfully winning in a crowded special election after the death of former U.S. Rep. Alan Nunnelee. He subsequently won re-election in 2016 and 2018.
The Associated Press contributed reporting to this article.