Trent Kelly (politician)

For other people named Trent Kelly, see Trent Kelly (disambiguation).
Trent Kelly
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Mississippi's 1st district
Assumed office
June 2, 2015
Preceded by Alan Nunnelee
Personal details
Born John Trent Kelly
(1966-03-01) March 1, 1966
Union, Mississippi, U.S.
Political party Republican
Residence Saltillo, Mississippi
Alma mater University of Mississippi
U.S. Army War College
Occupation Attorney
Religion United Methodist
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch Army National Guard
Years of service 1985–present
Rank Colonel
Unit 168th Engineer Brigade
Battles/wars Iraq War

John Trent Kelly (born March 1, 1966) is an American politician from Mississippi. A member of the Republican Party, Kelly is a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Mississippi's 1st congressional district, following his victory in a special election on June 2, 2015.

Early life and career

Kelly was born on March 1, 1966 in Union, Mississippi and is a resident of Saltillo, Mississippi, where he served as the district attorney of Mississippi's 1st Circuit Judicial District (which includes Lee, Pontotoc, Alcorn, Monroe, Itawamba, Prentiss and Tishomingo counties).[1]

He graduated from Union High School in 1984 and attended East Central Community College in Decatur before graduating from the University of Mississippi with a bachelor's degree in Business Administration.[2]

Kelly attended law school at the University of Mississippi and has a master's degree from the United States Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.[3] He remains a member of the Army National Guard, serving in the 168th Engineer Brigade, and served in the Iraq War and subsequent occupation in 2005 and 2009.[3] After law school, Kelly worked in private practice until 1999, when he became a city prosecutor in Tupelo. He was elected district attorney in 2011, defeating a nine-term Democratic incumbent.[4]

U.S. House of Representatives

2015 special election

After the death of Republican Congressman Alan Nunnelee in 2015, Kelly (also a Republican) entered the race to succeed him. Nunnelee's widow, Tori Nunnelee, contributed to Kelly's campaign.[5] In the first round, Kelly finished second in a thirteen-candidate field, behind Democrat Walter Zinn.[6] As no candidate received a majority of votes, Kelly and Zinn advanced to a second round of voting on June 2.[6] Several of the other candidates in the race endorsed Kelly after they were eliminated.[7] In the heavily Republican district, most political observers expected Kelly to defeat his Democratic opponent.[8][9] In the election, Kelly took 70% of the vote to his Democratic opponent's 30%.[10]


Kelly was sworn in by House Speaker John Boehner on June 9, 2015.[11]

Committee assignments


  1. "About". Trent Kelly for Congress. Retrieved May 22, 2015.
  2. "Col Trent Kelly". Combat Veterans for Congress. Retrieved May 22, 2015.
  3. 1 2 Guajardo, Rod (April 29, 2015). "Kelly sees Congress as 'ultimate' service job". Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal.
  4. Brumfield, Patsy R. (December 29, 2011). "Kelly ready to take on DA's responsibilities". Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal.
  5. Harrison, Bobby (April 21, 2015). "Nunnelee funds directed to Kelly's campaign". Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal.
  6. 1 2 Easley, Jonathan (May 12, 2015). "Democrat advances to runoff in Mississippi special election". The Hill.
  7. Pender, Geoff (May 13, 2015). "Democrats celebrate Tuesday win; battle moves to runoff". Clarion Ledger.
  8. Cahn, Emily (May 12, 2015). "Mississippi Special Election Heads to Runoff". Roll Call.
  9. Pettus, Emily Wagster (May 13, 2015). "1 Dem, 1 Republican headed to US House runoff in Mississippi". Washington Post.
  10. Cahn, Emily (June 2, 2015). "Kelly Wins Runoff for Mississippi House Seat". Roll Call.
  11. "Rep. Trent Kelly of Mississippi Sworn in as New House Member". Associated Press. June 9, 2015.

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Alan Nunnelee
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Mississippi's 1st congressional district

June 2, 2015  present
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Dan Donovan
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Darin LaHood
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