Michael Guest, the district attorney for Madison and Rankin Counties, has made the jump from local politics to state politics in his run for Mississippi's Third Congressional District, campaigning on conservative issues such as limited government and immigration reform.
"I believe that in most cases less government is better," Guest said. "It's not just about passing less laws but also passing more important laws. Rarely do we go back and remove laws, remove old regulations."
Guest stressed the need to focus on fixing the state's infrastructure, ranging from the pipes in Jackson to roads in bridges across the state.
"It needs to be brought up to standard," Guest said. "We have to address the needs of our aging infrastructure."
One of Guest's campaign priorities has been curbing the flow of undocumented immigrants and drugs over the Southwestern border by strengthening security and putting up fencing or a wall as a barrier.
"Drug cartels are using that border to traffic drugs into our country," Guest said. "I believe we need to do everything we can to keep drugs out of the hands of our children."
Guest, who has the endorsement of Gov. Phil Bryant, has voiced his support of President Donald Trump but criticized his recent tariffs.
"I'm a believer in free trade," Guest said. "There are limited purposes where tariffs should be considered."
Guest's opponent, Whit Hughes, has openly criticized Guest for not participating in a debate before the runoff. But Guest said they'd already appeared side-by-side several times in sponsored forums across the state, including one in Lauderdale County in May.
"If there were differences he felt needed to be highlighted he's had ample opportunity," Guest said.
Though Guest acknowledged a "learning curve" in Congress, he said he would surround himself with good people he could rely upon, as he'd done in past positions. Guest added that being a prosecutor had already given him "a record of fighting for the people of Mississippi."
"I have spent 22 years, first as an assistant district attorney and then as the district attorney, fighting for the people of Mississippi," Guest said. "I can quickly transition from representing people in court to representing people in Congress."