Flowers outpaces Eller in Franklin County Republican primary runoff

by Sean Dunlap

Franklin County voters overwhelmingly chose Brian Flowers over Ronald Eller in the Republican Party primary runoff election on Tuesday, June 28.

Unofficial returns, which included absentee ballots, saw Flowers with 330 votes (71.27 percent) to Eller's 132 votes (28.51 percent) with all precincts reporting.

Turnout was sparse at best with 8.14 percent of registered voters actually casting a ballot in Tuesday's lone race on the ticket. With a light turnout, polling places closed at 7 p.m., with all Franklin County boxes reporting shortly after 8 p.m.

Circuit Clerk Warren Walker confirmed there were only a handful of affidavit ballots cast -- possibly four -- and those would be reviewed by Franklin County's election commissioners as early as Wednesday.

The eventual winner of the Flowers-Eller battle will represent the Grand Old Party in the Tuesday, Nov. 8 general election against incumbent Democrat Bennie Thompson in Mississippi's Second Congressional District race.

In the Tuesday, June 7 Republican primary, Flowers was the top vote-getter with 6,006 (43.1 percent) while Eller was second overall with 4,547 votes (32.6 percent). Two other Republicans -- Michael Carson finished third in that race with 2,916 votes (20.9 percent) and Stanford Johnson was a distant fourth with 482 votes (3.5 percent).

On the Democrat primary ticket earlier this month, Thompson easily defeated his challenger, Jerry Kerner, by a 38,662 (96.2 percent) to 1,516 (3.8 percent) margin.

If Flowers wins the runoff, this will mark the second time he will face Thompson for the Mississippi Second District Congressional seat. In the 2020 election, Thompson edged Flowers in a 196,224 (66 percent) to 101,010 (34 percent) victory.