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13 candidates file for special congressional election in north Mississippi

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JACKSON, Mississippi — Thirteen people have qualified to run for an open congressional seat in north Mississippi.

Although candidates run without party labels in special elections, most in the race identify as Republicans. One of them, Walter Zinn, is a Democrat.

Friday was the deadline for candidates to enter the 1st District race to succeed the late Republican Rep. Alan Nunnelee, who died of brain cancer in early February. Nunnelee was first elected in 2010, after serving 15 years as a state senator from Tupelo.

The special election is May 12, and a runoff is June 2. The winner will serve most of the two-year term that Nunnelee started in January.

The 13 who qualified by Friday's 5 p.m. deadline are:

— Boyce Adams of Columbus, president of a software business called TheBiz.

— Sam Adcock of Columbus, who has worked for Airbus Helicopters and has been a defense and security adviser to former Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss.

— Nancy Collins of Tupelo, a state senator who has worked as a nurse and is founding president of Sanctuary Hospice House.

— Edward Holliday of Tupelo, a dentist.

— Dr. Starner Jones of Pontotoc, an emergency room physician.

— Trent Kelly of Tupelo, who is district attorney for Lee, Pontotoc, Alcorn, Monroe, Itawamba, Prentiss and Tishomingo counties.

— Chip Mills of Fulton, an attorney who serves as Itawamba County prosecutor.

— Greg Pirkle of Tupelo, an attorney.

— Henry Ross of Eupora, an attorney, former mayor and former circuit judge who ran unsuccessfully for the 1st District seat in 2010 and 2012.

— Daniel Sparks of Belmont, an attorney.

— Mike Tagert of Starkville, the northern district state transportation commissioner.

— Quentin Whitwell of Oxford, an attorney and businessman who previously served on the Jackson City Council.

— Zinn, of Pontotoc, an attorney who has worked as an adviser for former Jackson mayors Harvey Johnson Jr. and Chokwe Lumumba

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