Tuesday's primary will determine the party nominees for the U.S. House of Representatives in Mississippi's four congressional districts.

Most attention is appropriately going toward the GOP fight between Alan Nunnelee, Henry Ross, and Angela McGlowan in Northeast Mississippi's First District to decide who will challenge freshman incumbent Democrat Travis Childers.

Meanwhile, Republicans Steven Palazzo and Joe Tegerdine are battling for the nomination in Southeast Mississippi to run against the dean of Mississippi's House delegation, Democrat Gene Taylor. This column has covered both races.

Less attention has been directed toward the 2nd District represented by Democrat Bennie Thompson, or the 3rd District represented by Republican Gregg Harper. While the opposing parties will participate in a primary to select a nominee to challenge the incumbents, I expect they will pose little threat to the incumbents in the general election.

Thompson served as an alderman and mayor of Bolton and then as a Hinds County Supervisor before winning a 1993 special election to fill the unexpired term of Mike Espy who had been appointed by President Bill Clinton to serve as Secretary of Agriculture.

Now Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, Thompson has more than $2 million cash-on-hand in his campaign coffers.

Republicans Bill Marcy of Meridian, Richard Cook of Byram, and George Bailey of Clinton all seek their party's nomination to challenge Thompson.

Cook lost his 2008 challenge to Thompson earning only 31 percent of the vote. Marcy placed last in a seven man Republican Primary in the Third Congressional District in 2008 and then lost the run-off in a special election last year for Mississippi House District 82. Bailey, like Marcy, is a retired law enforcement officer.

Marcy and Bailey are two of the nearly 40 black Republicans running for congress across the county in 2010, including Angela McGlowan in Mississippi's First District, Charlotte Bergmann and Jean Howard-Hill in Tennessee, Princella Smith in Arkansas and Les Phillip in Alabama.

Democrats, like national strategist Donna Brazile, don't seem worried. She told the New York Times, "In 1994 and 2000, there were 24 black GOP nominees and you didn't see many of them win their elections." The last black member of the House Republican Conference was J.C. Watts who represented Oklahoma from 1995 to 2003.

Marcy, Bailey and McGlowan follow a number of black Republican congressional candidates - some nominees - in Mississippi over the past dozen or so years including Yvonne Brown, Robert Brown, Clinton LeSueur, Danny Covington, and Stephanie Summers-O'Neal. Whether Mississippi Democrats need be afraid of losing voters who are black to the Republican Party or not, these candidates have blazed a path for black Mississippians to be GOP congressional candidates.

Thompson and the Republican nominee will also face Reform Party candidate Ashley Norwood of Clinton in the general election. In the end, I expect Thompson will triumph once again.

Harper's Third District seat is as secure this year as Thompson in the Second District. An attorney and former Rankin County Republican Party Chairman, Harper spent his first term in Congress establishing himself as a conservative voice both in Mississippi and on the national scene. Harper serves on the House Republican Steering Committee, the Committee on House Administration, the Judiciary Committee, the Budget Committee, and the Ethics Committee.

With almost $200,000 cash-on-hand, his most formidable opponent would be if Pickens Mayor Joel Gill wins the Democratic Primary by defeating James Jackson of Brandon and perennial candidate Shawn O'Hara of Hattiesburg. Harper dispatched Gill two years ago for the open congressional seat 62.5 to 37.5 percent when Democrats were riding a high tide and actively working for Gill as a potential upset. That potential does not exist this year and I expect Harper will easily win reelection.

Interestingly enough, the Republican Marcy lives in the Third District and is running against the Second District Democratic incumbent; and the Democrat Gill lives in the Second District and is running against the Third District Republican incumbent.

But "interesting" is about all these races has to offer. Republicans have an opportunity to recruit new members to their party in the Second District; and Democrats have a chance to organize better their members in the Third District; but I don't expect either party to invest significant resources in trying to win against these two firmly entrenched incumbents. The incumbents might be more vulnerable to a primary challenge than the general election; but neither faces dissension within their own ranks. So even after Tuesday's primary, continue to expect most 2010 election attention to be focused on the First and and Fourth Districts in Northeast Mississippi and Hattiesburg/Laurel/Gulf Coast.

Brian Perry is a partner in a public affairs firm. Contact him at reasonablyright@brianperry.ms.