Rep. Nunnelee escapes GOP primary unscathed

Rep. Alan Nunnelee (R) won his primary contest in Mississippi on Tuesday, edging out two Republican challengers who sought his seat.

With 98 percent of precincts reporting, Nunnelee captured 57 percent of the vote, compared to 29 percent for Henry Ross and 14 percent for Robert Estes.

A freshman who came to the House as part of the 2010 wave that gave the GOP control of the lower chamber, Nunnelee defeated former Rep. Travis Childers (D-Miss.) by 14 points. But he picked up a rough challenge in 2012 from Ross, the former mayor of Europa, Miss.

Ross hit Nunnelee hard on fiscal issues. The Tea Party candidate blasted Nunnelee over his support for measures to raise the debt ceiling and deeming all of his votes to fund the federal government as votes to fund Planned Parenthood and abortions. Nunnelee fought back, outspending Ross more than two-to-one in this heavily Republican district.

It was the second loss to Nunnelee for Ross, who came in second place in the GOP primary in 2010, when Nunnelee was first elected to the House.