Mississippi Republican Who Supported Jan. 6 Commission Faces June 28 Runoff

Mississippi Republican Who Supported Jan. 6 Commission Faces June 28 Runoff
Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), chair of the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol, joined by fellow committee members, delivers opening remarks during a hearing on the Jan. 6 investigation on Capitol Hill on June 9, 2022. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Nathan Worcester

Rep. Michael Guest (R-Miss.), a lawmaker who voted in favor of forming a Jan. 6 Commission, has entered the final stretch before a June 28 runoff election against U.S. Navy veteran Michael Cassidy.

The congressman from Mississippi’s 3rd District actually lost the initial June 7 primary election to Cassidy, receiving just 46.9 percent of the vote to Cassidy’s 47.5 percent.

Runoffs are triggered in Mississippi primary elections if no candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote.

In addition to warring over Guest’s support for a commission, the two candidates have sparred over Cassidy’s alleged economic views.

An attack ad against Cassidy accused him of backing an “extreme socialist agenda” that would have added $48 trillion in social spending, as reported by Mississippi Today. That ad was funded by the Congressional Leadership Fund (CLF), a national super PAC supported by current House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.),

Mississippi Today based the $48 trillion figure on proposals from the candidate’s website, including one that appeared to mirror some Democrats’ vision of “Medicare for All.” Those policy ideas were subsequently taken down.

In a June 24 interview with The Epoch Times, Cassidy acknowledged the proposals were on his website, but claims the assertion that he supports broad new health care spending for Americans is “a complete lie and misrepresentation.”

“The truth is, before I began campaigning, I did a stupid thing,“ he said. ”And that was to brainstorm policy ideas on my website.”

Cassidy claimed that while he initially hoped that more Americans could access the caliber of health plan that he has through the U.S. Navy, he quickly realized that such a vision was too expensive.

He took issue with the CLF’s efforts to defeat him. OpenSecrets shows that it has spent $448,783 to oppose Cassidy’s candidacy.

According to that same website, top donors to the CLF in the 2022 cycle include Koch Industries and Dan Crenshaw for Congress.

“[CLF] spent half a million dollars in money that should be spent to get Democrats out of office and Republicans in,” he said, stressing his opposition to red flag laws and funding for Planned Parenthood.

Representatives for the CLF didn’t respond to a request for comment by press time.

Cassidy praised the Supreme Court’s June 24 Dobbs v. Jackson decision, which overturned Roe v. Wade and returned abortion law-making to the states.

Pro-abortion protests in Washington and elsewhere in the country followed the decision’s release, continuing a pattern that started when a draft of the decision was leaked through Politico in May.

The leaker of that draft hasn’t yet been identified.

When asked what he would do to address what he sees as an overreach by the Department of Justice and other agencies, Cassidy cited Congress’s power of the purse.

Republicans will have more leverage over spending if they take the House, Senate, or both in November’s midterm election.

“In the military and so much government, if you don’t fund something, it can’t be done,” he said.

Cassidy said fighting federal abuses of power would take effective organization—a perennial challenge for many Republicans.

“Republicans have got to be energetic about it. They have to do the hard work,” he said.

Guest declined an interview opportunity with The Epoch Times.

Nathan Worcester covers national politics for The Epoch Times and has also focused on energy and the environment. Nathan has written about everything from fusion energy and ESG to Biden's classified documents and international conservative politics. He lives and works in Chicago. Nathan can be reached at [email protected].