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NATIONAL ELECTION RETURNS : EDITION-TIME COMPILATIONS : State-by-State Election Reports of Key Races and Issues : Mississippi

November 05, 1986

JACKSON — Democrat A. Michael Espy became Mississippi's first black member of Congress since Reconstruction, defeating incumbent Rep. Webb Franklin.

Espy, a Yazoo City lawyer and former assistant attorney general, was the third black to run against Franklin, who narrowly won election in the 2nd District in 1982 and 1984.

With all but four precincts reporting, Espy had 69,605 votes, or 51%, to Franklin's 65,697, or 49%.

In other congressional races, Reps. Jamie Whitten and Wayne Dowdy, both Democrats, and Republican Trent Lott easily won reelection. Democrat G. V. (Sonny) Montgomery was unopposed.

Dowdy defeated Gail Healy, bidding to become the state's first woman in Congress.

The state's new delegation will have four Democrats and one Republican.

Voters approved five amendments to the state Constitution, including one that will allow governors to serve consecutive terms. Democratic Gov. Bill Allain's four-year term expires next year, and he has hinted he may seek reelection.

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