Miss. Republicans seek contender against Obama

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) Mississippi voters cast ballots Tuesday in a Republican presidential primary, with conservatives saying they were seeking the strongest challenger to face Democratic President Barack Obama in the November general election.

Republican candidates Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum each made several campaign appearances during the past week. U.S. Rep. Ron Paul did not actively campaign in Mississippi.

Former House Speaker Gingrich, who represented Georgia in Congress for 20 years, pitched himself as a candidate who understands the Deep South.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Romney said he learned to say “y’all” and had a newfound appreciation for grits.

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Santorum courted Christian conservatives in a state where evangelicals make up a significant part of the Republican electorate.

Mississippi has 40 Republican delegates, and 37 are awarded in the primary.

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