Childers Kickoff

HatTip CottonMouth for this report on Travis Childer's campaign kickoff - Travis Childers For Congress Announcement Goes Well and for the press release on the event.

Daily Journal - Childers kicks off congressional run with big Booneville crowd - Childers, a Democrat, officially launched his campaign Monday for the North Mississippi seat held by Republican Roger Wicker until he was appointed interim U.S. senator. "I hope what you're saying by your presence here today is that we're going to win this race," Childers shouted enthusiastically before a crowd of 200 in the Red and Gold Room of Northeast Mississippi Community College, where he went to school. Describing himself as a "North Mississippi Democrat, not a Washington Democrat," he said his early life in hard times makes him want to open opportunities for every young person in the region. Childers spoke from a raised platform on which some 50 family members and endorsing officeholders stood behind him on risers. The 16-year Prentiss County chancery clerk pointed to his successful business life as an indicator of his abilities with the economy and job creation. He cited campaign concerns: trade, high oil prices, the home mortgage crisis, illegal immigration and record national deficits. Childers described himself as "pro-life, pro-gun," believing marriage is between a man and a woman.


McCullough, Hurt

Commercial Dispatch - No need for ‘on-the-job' training, McCullough says - Seeking the Republican nomination for the First District Congressional seat vacated by Roger Wicker, Glenn McCullough Jr., former chairman of the Tennessee Valley Authority Board of Directors, said he wouldn't need any “on-the-job training.” “For the last 15 years, I've tried to make sure local leaders, both elected and in the private sector, had the support of Jackson and Washington, (D.C.), so infrastructure could be put in place and education made available,” he said. “This is not new to me. I would make sure Mississippians are treated fairly, some may argue maybe even more than fairly, by those in Washington. I've worked closely with (new Sen. Roger Wicker, former Sen. Trent Lott and Sen. Thad Cochran) a long time. It's nothing new to me.” Accompanied by a supporter - former Columbus Mayor Jeffrey Rupp - McCullough Friday met with the Dispatch Editorial Board to answer questions regarding the war in Iraq, the United States economy, health care costs, the Social Security fund and immigration.

Daily Journal - Hurt wants universal health, an end to war - Ken Hurt was born a sharecropper’s son but raised on a steady diet of politics by family who served on numerous government boards. Now 71, Hurt is taking another shot at a seat he already tried for – and lost – two years ago. He wants the 1st District U.S. House of Representatives position that was left vacant when Roger Wicker went to the U.S. Senate earlier this month. And Hurt thinks he’s a sure bet. “I am the leading candidate simply by virtue of the races I’ve run,” the Verona resident told the Daily Journal. “There is nothing to prevent those same people from voting for me again.” Hurt not only ran against Wicker in 2006, but also he ran against Northern District Highway Commissioner Bill Minor in 2007.


Childers campaign kickoff

Daily Journal: Travis Childers, a candidate for the 1st District congressional seat, will host a campaign kickoff rally at 4 p.m. Monday at Northeast Community College's Student Union. Tuesday, he'll travel throughout the district, which stretches across North Mississippi, introducing himself to voters and speaking about his campaign platform. Tentative plans include stops in West Point, Columbus, Grenada, DeSoto County, Oxford and possibly Tupelo. Details will be announced soon, a campaign aide said.


Russell - Monroe County GOP

Dr. Randy Russell will be speaking to the Monroe County Republican Party on Jan. 31. The meeting will be held at the Shelaine Restaurant in Aberdeen at 6:30pm.

Matt Frideman's InTheFight blog on Russell's pro-life background: 88

Chancery Clerks endorse Childers

Prentiss County Chancery Clerk Travis Childers released a list of fourteen current and retired chancery clerks from the first congressional district who are endorsing Childers for Congress. The ten Chancery Clerks endorsing Childers are: Don Threadgill of Choctaw County; Robbie Robinson of Clay County; Jim Witt of Itawamba County; Chuck Thomas of Marshall County; Ronnie Boozer of Monroe County; Reggie Collums of Pontotoc County; Wayne Crockett of Tate County; Peyton Cummings of Tishomingo County; Russ Turner of Webster County; and, Amy McMinn of Yalobusha County. In addition, four retired Chancery Clerks from North Mississippi offered their endorsements: Myra McCollum of Alcorn County; Martha Martin of Calhoun County; David Thomas of Chickasaw County; and, Hayden Ables of Tishomingo County. Travis W. Childers, a Democrat, has served as Chancery Clerk of Prentiss County for the past sixteen years. HatTip: CottonMouth


The Anti-Holland

J. Everett Dutschke, Steve Holland's opponent for reelection to his Mississippi House of Representatives Seat, has secured www.SteveHollandForCongress.net which directs to the anti-Holland web site TellTupelo.com which is very entertaining.


McCullough Web Up

Glenn McCullough has hired Brad Davis, Senator Thad Cocrhan's general counsel, to run his campaign. His campaign web site is up (www.glenn08.com) and here is his personal web site (www.glenmcculloughjr.com).


MPB on 1st District

MPB Audio Link: Candidates Qualify for 1st Congressional District

Holland's Announcement

Here are some excerpts from Steve Hollan's announcement. The Plantersville Connection has the whole speech.

Well folks, this is not my first rodeo. I've kicked off several campaigns over the years and attended hundreds of others for my friends and colleagues. I have observed one thing: where a man chooses to start his campaign tells a lot about who he is and what he's about. It can literally define the person and the campaign. That's why Gloria, my family and I choose to kick off this campaign for the U. S. Congress right here at the Plantersville School where it all started for me in 48 years ago, in l960.

Carolyn Weeks in the original building across the way taught me first about civics and this state and country; how this state worked and what our responsibility as a citizen was to the propogation of democracy. She also made me write 500 times I will not disparage the President of the United States when I smarted off raunchy comments about then President Lyndon Baines Johnson. What a valuable lesson.

I learned that if you misbehaved, you would get called down ; and if you continued to misbehave, you would have to pay a price. I learned a fundamental lesson; there is a cost to doing wrong.

Let me assure you of my gratitude for electing me 7 times to the Mississippi House of Representatives. I love that public trust and I do not have to surrender that position until I am elected to the U. S. Congress. So, accordingly, I have a present responsibility to you in the Miss. House of Representatives and I will fulfill that to the best of my abilites.

It is New Testament politics which says the government has a role in taking care of the least, last and most vulnerable among us. Good education, decent, accessible and affordable health care for all, a solid transportation system that fosters public safety and economic development, a proper partnership between government and economic development, a strong military and a system that will not turn its back on those men and women who fight for our freedom and great personal and physical peril, a Social Security system that is fiscally healthy and fairly delivered. These, among others are what Steve Holland has always fought for and protected and these are the same positions I will carry with me to Washington as your Congressman.


Holland Announces, Web Up

Daily Journal - Holland talks values in bid for congressional seat - State Rep. Steve Holland says a person’s starting place says a lot about who they’re going to become. Holland, a Democrat from Plantersville, formally announced on Sunday that he is running for the 1st Congressional District seat at the Plantersville School cafeteria. He told the audience that making the announcement at the school was important because that’s where he got his start, and he wants to take the values and lessons learned there to Washington. “I learned the value of education” at Plantersville schools, he said, and “providing a first-class public education” is now his most important issue. His other major issues include: A strong military, A strong highway system, Supporting Medicaid. Holland was first elected a member of the Mississippi House in 1983, representing House District 16 of Lee County. He also served as Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee from 1988 to 2004. Holland called his fellow candidates his “friends” and promised to run a clean campaign.

SteveHollandForCongress is up HatTip CottonMouth.

UPDATE: Another HatTip to CottonMouth, Holland has revamped his web page.


Holland Announces Sunday

Steve Holland will announce his campaign for Congress Sunday at 4:30 p.m. in the Plantersville School Cafeteria. HatTip: The Plantersville Connection

The blog Ms. Sippi is excited about that saying to Holland, "Good luck, Buddy! I'll help you any way I can. I may even send you a dollar or two for the campaign. That would put you and Barak Obama in a very exclusive class of 2 politicians I believe in strongly enough to support financially."


Finally, Entertainment

Steve Holland is running.

Daily Journal: Holland will run for Congress - Rep. Steve Holland, D-Plantersville, will be a candidate for the 1st Congressional District seat. Holland has served in the legislature since 1984.Gov. Haley Barbour has not yet set the special election date to fill the U.S. House post vacated when Roger Wicker of Tupelo was appointed interim U.S. Senator.


McCullough in DeSoto

Commercial Appeal - McCullough seeks local support - "Former Tupelo mayor Glenn McCullough Jr. kicked off his DeSoto County campaign Wednesday with a pitch for support from county officials. McCullough, former TVA chairman, appeared before the Board of Supervisors two days after fellow Republican and Southaven Mayor Greg Davis announced his candidacy. McCullough said, 'This campaign is not about politics. It's about possibilities. Partnerships for progress: That's what I stand for. I'm not against anyone.'"


Jackson Free Press: Two Districts Competitive in 2008? - Wicker’s old House District 1 seat is also up for grabs. “Wicker is interesting because Wicker’s district has been gradually turning more blue over the last few years, certainly in the local elections,” said Marty Wiseman, director of Mississippi State University’s Stennis Institute of Government. “Wicker’s district contains a lot of the white old-timey Democrats who didn’t switch over to Republican in the last few decades. In fact, after the recent November election, there’s really only about two or three red patches in Wicker’s district these days.” So far, four potential names are bubbling to the surface in a potential race for Wicker’s spot. Southaven Mayor Greg Davis filed to run in the campaign to replace Wicker last year, and former Tupelo Mayor Glen McCullough, Jr., could be another name on the Republican ticket. On the Democratic side, Prentiss County Chancery Clerk Travis Childers announced he was entering the race. Childers has served as chancery clerk of Prentiss County for 16 years, and recently won re-election with 75 percent of the vote. A prominent Democratic challenger could prove to be former Rep. Jamie Franks, who is looking for something to do since he lost his statewide election bid for lieutenant governor against former State Auditor Phil Bryant last year. “I can tell you on the record he’s seriously considering it,” said James Hull, Franks’ communication director during his campaign for lieutenant governor. “The First Congressional District is right in his backyard. He knows a lot of people, and he carried much of it during the last election,” Hull said. “He got more votes in Lee County, which trended Republican during the last two or three elections. He carried his own home county, and he did well in Clay County, Lowndes County, and he got more votes in Desoto County than any other office holder has got in a statewide election, ever. All of these counties are inside District 1. This is a highly winnable district for Democrats.”

Associated Press - 1st District candidates to campaign twice - Some candidates for Mississippi's 1st District are in for a lot of handshaking and stumping. as they'll have to campaign at least twice to win the U.S. House post. Barbour has 60 days from the date of Wicker's resignation from the House to set a special election for that seat. The winner will have less than a year left in the term. To qualify for the special election, candidates must submit a statement and the signatures of 1,000 registered voters from the district, said Chuck Bearman, chief of staff for outgoing Secretary of State Eric Clark. Meanwhile, Friday is the deadline for congressional candidates to file papers to run in the regularly scheduled party primaries March 11. The general election is Nov. 4. "It's a full year of campaigning and elections in this district," said Southaven Mayor Greg Davis, a candidate for the seat. "The one drawback about the primary being so soon is with 22 counties, it's going to be difficult to get around to meet everyone."
Davis and Glenn McCullough, the former mayor of Tupelo and a former member of the Tennessee Valley Authority, already have qualified for the Republican primary. "We are now in the process of putting the paperwork in place for that special election Gov. Barbour will call, and we obviously plan to be on the ballot Nov. 4," said McCullough, who was campaigning in DeSoto County on Wednesday.

Out, Endorsing, In

Clarion Ledger: Nunnelee, Franks will not seek House seat

Daily Journal: Speculation ends, Nunnelee says no

Word is Nunnelee is endorsing Glenn McCullough.

Meanwhile Randy Russell announced he WILL be a candidate, Angela McClowan announced she is considering it, and tongues are wagging that Wesley Walls may join the crowd.


Wiseman: The Wild, Wild First Congressional District

Marty Wiseman of the Stennis Institute writes on the First Congressional Race:

The political pot in Mississippi is boiling over. Announcements of retirements and resignations have set in motion a predictable chain reaction as candidates scramble to fill the now or soon to be open seats in the First and Third Congressional Districts and the unexpired term of Mississippi's junior Senator Trent Lott.

The evolving contest(s) to fill the First District Congressional seat being vacated by veteran Congressman Roger Wicker as he accepts Governor Haley Barbour's appointment to fill Lott's unexpired term present a tremendously intriguing picture from several angles. For quite some time when one thought of the First Congressional District, the population center radiating out from Tupelo and Lee County came immediately to mind. If fact many simply thought that as the Tupelo area went so went the First District. Indeed 13 year veteran Congressman Roger Wicker calls Tupelo home. As is usually the case when an open seat becomes available, pent up desire to run for the office manifests itself and in the process observers commence the game of handicapping the chances of the respective candidates based on their experience, name recognition and where in the district they are from.

When one examines the First District through the prism of the current crop of announced and potential candidates they are in for some interesting discoveries. To begin with, this district that spans almost the entire way across North Mississippi from the Alabama line in the east stopping at the edge of the Delta dominated Second Congressional District has now developed a second major population center. Upstart, but increasingly powerful, DeSoto County has grown rapidly, and that growth continues so that population-wise it has reached virtual parity with the traditional population center of Tupelo/Lee County. Thus, the potential for a significant east/west rivalry for influence has developed in the First District. The entry into the race of former state legislator and current Mayor of the DeSoto County city of Southaven, Republican Greg Davis serves notice that the western part of the district is ready to play for keeps. Already at least three candidates from the Tupelo area have made their intentions known, and there will likely be others. Former Tupelo Mayor Glenn McCullough, a Republican, and Democrats Travis Childers, Chancery Clerk of Prentiss County and Tupelo Attorney Brian Neely have announced. Although there was a point at which it might have seemed that the Tupelo/Lee County eastern part of the First District was in danger of being swamped by the population growth in the DeSoto County dominated western part of the district, such concerns have abated with the arrival of the Toyota auto manufacturing facility and the growing number of announcements by auxiliary manufacturers.

Just as Tupelo has long been thought of as the "Capital" of the First District, conventional wisdom has labeled this a Republican District. No doubt this was due to Wicker's affiliation with the Republican Party. How quickly we forget the nearly 50-year tenure of Democrat Jamie Whitten. Recent elections clearly prove that residents of the First have not forgotten, and that there is plenty of evidence that a member of the Democratic Party can indeed be a viable candidate in the First. Furthermore, this Democratic viability extends across racial lines. One need look no further than the election of State Senator-elect, Democrat Eric Powell to fill the seat of retiring Senator Travis Little. Powell, an African-American won handily in a heavily white district including parts of Alcorn, Prentiss, and Tishomingo Counties. The eastern two-thirds of the First District is one of the remaining areas of high concentrations of what are often referred to as New Deal, TVA, Jamie Whitten Democrats. As one travels westward in the First they will encounter a growing African-American population that also votes heavily Democratic. A candidate who can pull together these two "brands" of Democrats can be successful in a First District race.

Some attention must also be paid to the impact of the mechanics of the election. Candidates for the race for the First District Congressional seat in the November general election must file by the end of the day on January 11. Candidates for the special election will file a few days later even though the special election will be held before the general election. All candidates in the special election will run together regardless of party with the top two making the runoff provided no one candidate gains a majority of the votes. It is unknown at this point what the date of the special election will be, but the primary for the general election will be March 11. Perhaps if both elections were on the same day voters would have to vote on two separate ballots. If this were the case, what if the winner of the non-partisan special election failed to win his party's primary for the general? Or what if the winner of the party primary was not elected to the seat in the special election?

One final consideration has to do with the context of Election Day. Special elections often have lighter turnouts than general elections. How would the prospects of the prospective candidates differ in a special election as compared to a heavily attended Presidential Election with the historic possibilities of Democratic ticket headed by Barak Obama or Hillary Clinton?

Childers claims $100,000 in first week

HatTip Cottonmouth: Democrat Childers Raises $100,000 In First Week In Race - Prentiss County businessman and Chancery Clerk Travis Childers, announced on Tuesday afternoon that his campaign has reached an important milestone. Since entering the race last Wednesday, Childers has raised more than one hundred thousand dollars to finance his campaign.


Davis Announces

WMC-TV (Memphis) - Greg Davis announces run for Congress - In Southaven City Hall, his picture hangs on the wall. His placard reads mayor. But his volunteers prepped campaign signs for a totally separate election as Southaven Mayor Greg Davis officially announced that he's running for United States Congress. "We want to do for the first congressional district what we've done here for Southaven which is promote the economy growth. Have less government so to speak, cut the governmental beaureaucratic red tape," Davis said.

Commercial Appeal - Southaven's Davis joins growing list of Congress hopefuls - Southaven Mayor Greg Davis officially opened his campaign for the First Congressional District seat. A special, nonpartisan election to be called by Barbour will fill the House seat, which represents a large swath of North Mississippi, until a permanent replacement is chosen during regular March primary elections and the November general election. Davis is participating in both elections. Among others in attendance were all the area mayors and local and state politicians that included state Sen. Merle Flowers, state Rep. Ted Mayhall and state Sen. Doug Davis, who is a distant relative. Davis then presented his agenda, which includes bringing economic growth to the district that encompasses DeSoto, Tate and Marshall counties. He also vowed to fight to get the troops needed weapons and equipment to "win the war on terror" and to "keep the borders safe" by opposing legislation dealing with illegal immigration.


Southern Political Report

From the Southern Political Report - Mississippi: Many Contenders for Wicker Seat:

President Bush carried the district with 62% in 2004; the district is 71% white, 26% black, so a

The Republicans:

Greg Davis, 41, mayor of Southhaven, the fastest growing municipality in the state, was first out of the starting gate, announcing on November 28, before Wicker’s Senate appointment, that he was preparing to run in the event a vacancy occurred. On December 31, he filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and has begun organizing a campaign for both the unexpired term and the full two-year term. Davis has been mayor for eleven years and before that, was a member of the state house of representatives for six years. He has an engineering degree from Mississippi State. He is one of the top contenders, with the experience, background and outgoing personality that make for a good campaigner. He would have draw especially well in the northwestern part of the district.

Glenn McCullough, 52, a former mayor of Tupelo, made his kickoff announcement in four stops throughout the district on January 2. He is a past chairman of the board of the Tennessee Valley Authority, which the district’s electricity provider. He also served as director of the Appalachian Regional Commission. McCullough was elected mayor of Tupelo, the district’s largest city, in 1997 with 61% of the vote. Like Davis, he is well-qualified for the job, is personable and is well-liked. McCullough would be popular in the eastern part of the district.

State Sen. Alan Nunnelee, 49, is a 13-year veteran of the state’s upper legislative chamber, where he chairs the Public Health and Welfare Committee and is slated to become chairman of the powerful Senate Finance Committee when the legislature convenes on January 8. Nunnelee, who is from Tupelo, also chairs the “Taxpayer Protection Caucus” in the state senate, a group of nine senators who signed a pledge of Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform that committed him to “oppose and vote against any and all efforts to increase taxes.” Nunnelee has not entered the race, but told the Biloxi Sun-Herald that he is “seriously considering” running. He is a businessman (insurance). While not as well-known as some of the other contenders, he is smart, energetic and has a successful business background.

Brad Prewitt, a Tupelo attorney and a former staff member for US Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) has expressed interest in the race. According to the Sun Herald, Prewitt’s wife is expecting twins in February, which is affecting his decision. If he does run, he would not be as strong a candidate as Davis or McCullough, in part because he has not lived in the district very long.

Dr. Randy Russell, an Oxford ophthalmologist and a former member of the state board of health, is looking at the race. Russell has long been active in Republican Party affairs. He was a strong supporter of former Mississippi governor Kirk Fordice (R). He has indicated that he plans to run, though he isn’t likely to be strong district-wide.

The Democrats:

Travis Childers, 49, who has served as chancery clerk for Prentiss County (Booneville) for five terms, announced his candidacy on January 2. Childers is the owner of Travis Childers Real Estate in Booneville and also owns, with his family, a nursing home and related facilities. One source describes Childers as “the dark horse in the race,” noting that he is “a savvy politician who is extraordinarily well-connected” with chancery clerks and other court house officials throughout the district. “He’s a popular public figure,” continues this observer, who notes that Childers could benefit from anti-Tupelo sentiment in parts of the district.

State Rep. Jamie Franks, 35, a hard-charging populist, ran an attention-getting race for lieutenant governor in 2007, in which he promised to stand up “to the special interests and sweetheart deals that get in the way of what Mississippi families need.” Although his campaign was unsuccessful, it should give him significant name ID in the district. While Franks got 41% of the statewide vote against Phil Bryant (R), he ran marginally better in the 1st District, garnering 44%. He did not, however, carry Lee County, his home bailiwick. Franks has not announced, but in a recent interview with the Clarion Ledger, he sounded like he would not run. For starters, he might have difficulty raising the necessary funds immediately following a losing statewide campaign.

State Rep. Steve Holland, 52, has indicated in the media that he will seek the seat. He has served in the state house of representatives for 28 years, where he has earned a reputation for being a very effective lawmaker, and gets re-elected by overwhelming majorities. Holland, from Plantersville, chairs the Public Health and Human Services Committee and co-chairs the Select Committee on Accessible and Affordable Medical Malpractice Insurance. He is a farmer and a funeral home owner. He is well-known across the district, in part for being flamboyant, which some folks regard as a plus, others as a minus.

Brian Neely, a Tupelo lawyer, announced his candidacy on January 2. Neely is a former county attorney for Lee County (Tupelo). He is a former Marine Corps captain.

State Sen. Gray Tollison, 43, who chairs the upper chamber’s Judiciary Committee, was once on the staff of the late US Sen. Stennis (D-MS). A progressive young lawmaker, Tollison, from Oxford, “is a polished, urbane, cosmopolitan person,” says one observer. He is well-liked in the legislature. Tollison in a recent speech noted that he was “part of the first generation of white Southerners to attend integrated schools in the South. It has made a difference in my life.” He also praised President Lyndon Johnson for believing “that racism was not only dividing blacks from whites but also dividing the South from the rest of the nation. By freeing people from its scourge, everyone in the region would have a better chance to grow.” He and his wife are successful attorneys. Tollison has not indicated whether he will enter the race, but if he does, he could be a significant factor.

The filing deadline for the full two year term is January 11. The primary is on March 11 and the General Election is on November 4. Gov. Haley Barbour (R) has not yet called a special election for the remainder of Wicker’s term, but says he will do so within the next 60 days. It should be around the same time as the regular primary, but will be a non-partisan election, with a runoff between the top two, regardless of party.


McCullough hat in the ring

Columbus Commercial Dispatch - McCullough, others put hats in ring for Wicker's seat - "Local business, political and community leaders were at the Golden Triangle Regional Airport Wednesday afternoon in a show of support for Republican Glenn McCullough Jr., who announced his candidacy for the U.S. House of Representatives 1st Congressional District. McCullough, a former Tupelo mayor and chairman of the Tennessee Valley Authority, joins a host of others in seeking the seat vacated by Roger Wicker, who was appointed to the Senate Monday. Former Columbus Mayor Jeffrey Rupp introduced McCullough, whom he called a 'mentor.' 'If you look at the successes in the Golden Triangle, you cannot count successes without mentioning Glenn McCullough's name,' Rupp said. McCullough said his 53-year 'legacy of leadership' included a 'strong working relationship' with Wicker. 'I stand for strong conservative Mississippi values,' he said. 'This campaign is not about politics; it's about possibilities. (As mayor), I've had an opportunity to build bridges and not let problems (overcome) possibilities,' he continued. 'I know these people, I know the questions and, more importantly, I can work to find solutions. I am running to accomplish possibilities for you. Opportunities are better today than ever before, but it will take a representative who can build bridges to make those possibilities become realities.' McCullough, who also previously served as director of the Appalachian Regional Commission, is a partner in Ardillo, McCullough & Taggart LLC, a corporate consulting firm specializing in business development, government relations and executive management counsel. A graduate of Mississippi State University, he is married with two sons, who both attend MSU."

The Race Is On

AP - Prentiss Chancery Clerk Travis Childers says he'll seek Congressional seat - "Travis Childers says he will seek the Congressional seat vacated when First District Congressman Roger Wicker was appointed to the to the U.S. Senate seat left open by the resignation of Trent Lott. Childers, a 49-year-old Democrat from Booneville, has served as Prentiss County chancery clerk for 16 years. Childers has worked as a real estate agent and appraiser and his family owns and operates a nursing home and personal care facility in Booneville."

CQpolitics - Scramble Begins for Wicker’s House Seat - "Republican Southaven Mayor Greg Davis told CQ Politics that he has filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission and in Mississippi to establish a campaign for the 1st District seat, and news reports indicate that Davis already faces primary competition from Republican former Tupelo Mayor Glenn McCullough. Davis said his experience will make him the best candidate for the job, including the seven years he spent in the state legislature. But he added that he fully expects a competitive campaign for the open, Republican-leaning seat. 'Every vote will be important,' Davis said. 'We’re going to focus on every voter across the district.' Lawyer Brian Neely told CQ Politics he plans to run for the Democratic nomination and focus on tax reform. 'Our tax reform policy is designed to bleed the small businessman dry,' Neely said. He added that education and guaranteeing that every citizen gets 'their equal share of the American dream' will be cornerstones of his campaign."

Ross Reily, Delta Democrat Times - Wicker appointment begins next round of speculation

Commercial Appeal Editorial on Davis

Commercial Appeal Editorial: Loss could be a plus - Southaven Mayor Greg Davis' announced quest to become a U.S. representative provides an opportunity to turn a potential loss into a positive. Davis is into his third term as the city's mayor. He has critics, but by most accounts he has provided solid, energetic, farsighted leadership in the booming city. Should Davis win the congressional election, it would give the city's leaders and residents a chance to catch their collective breaths in the midst of the city's continuing growth sprint. While they're getting their second wind, they'll have time to reflect on whether they want their city's growth spurt to continue as it has or if they want a new mayor who will slow the growth pace or maybe change course. A successful Davis bid for Congress would provide an opportunity for a fresh look, for example, at Southaven's infrastructure and public safety needs, and what additional amenities can be provided for residents. All this is not meant to suggest that Davis' continued leadership of Southaven would be a bad thing. The city has prospered under his leadership and there is no reason to fret that that wouldn't continue."



Mississippi Public Broadcasting's Stephen Koranda has this report and also this report on the race in the First District where he interviews Glenn McCullough, Steve Holland, and Jamie Franks. Koranda reports in both pieces that Governor Barbour will appoint a Representative until the special election, but that is not the case. The seat is vacant until the special election.

Voter Registration Deadline

AP - Mississippi primary registration deadline is Feb. 8 - "Mississippians who are not registered to vote, but want to take part in the March 11 presidential primary, have until Feb. 8 to sign up. The deadline to register is technically Saturday, Feb. 9, so he urged Mississippians to register by 5 p.m. Feb. 8, a Friday."

Franks and Holland

Clarion Ledger: Franks unsure about bid for Wicker’s post - "Outgoing state Rep. Jamie Franks said it’s unlikely he will run against state Rep. Steve Holland 'And I don’t believe he would run against me either,' Franks said of his friend and fellow representative. Both are Democrats from north Mississippi. Holland told The Clarion-Ledger earlier this week he was considering making a bid for the 1st District seat. Holland didn’t immediately return calls for comment. Franks — who has been mentioned as a possible contender as well — didn’t say it was completely out of the picture, but he did admit he was still tired from a failed attempt at the lieutenant governor’s seat in 2007. 'I spent several hundred thousand dollars of my own money and a year of my life campaigning, and I came up short,' Franks said. With Holland in his 50s and Franks still in his 30s, he added: 'I’ve got years to catch up to (Holland).'"

On The Blogs

WillBardwell: Democrats, don't get your hopes up.

Kingmaker: Davis throws hat in the ring

MajorityInMiss: McCullough, Childers both running

SidSalter: Prentiss County Chancery Clerk Travis Childers enter 1st District race

In The Race

Brian Neely (D-Tupelo) has announced. Brian Neely ran in the eight-way 1993 special election for the Second Congressional District. Hayes Dent led before the run-off with 34.1%, then Bennie Thompson with 28.5%, then Henry Espy 20.4%. Neely got half of one percent.

John Wages Jr. (G-Tupelo) - Daily Journal: "The state’s first publicly elected Green Party candidate announced Wednesday he will run for U.S. House of Representatives from the 1st Congressional District. In an e-mail to the Daily Journal, which he said served as his formal announcement, former Lee County Election Commissioner John Wages Jr. said he’ll seek the seat most recently occupied by current U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker. Unlike other candidates vying for Wicker’s vacant seat in the upcoming special election, Wages said he intends to wait for the regular election Nov. 4."

Commercial Appeal: Davis will make run official

Daily Journal: McCullough makes House run official

Commercial Appeal: "Democrats Joe Forsythe of Horn Lake and Columbus lawyer William Bambach have expressed an interest in the seat but have not filed any paperwork, Mississippi Democratic Party spokesman Terry Cassreino said." Forsythe and Bambach both ran for the First District seat in 2006 and both lost in the primary to Ken Hurt who didn't even come close to Wicker in the general.


Deadline Looms

Daily Journal: Deadline for 1st District seat looms

Jan. 11 is the qualifying deadline for party primaries leading up to the Nov. 4 general election. For the special election, Gov. Haley Barbour hasn't decided yet, but it can't be that far off. State law requires a special election to fill the House post within about 120 days of the vacancy.

State Sen. Alan Nunnelee, a Republican, said he's giving the race serious consideration. The name of one of his Democratic colleagues, Oxford state Sen. Gray Tollison, also popped up Monday. Calls to him were not returned Monday. Nunnelee said Monday he is very interested in the 1st District seat but will evaluate his situation after speaking with Lt. Gov.-elect Phil Bryan, who is expected to make his Senate committee appointments Jan. 11. "It's been my privilege to serve in the Senate the past 13 years," Nunnelee told the Daily Journal. He also said he's been getting a lot of phone calls encouraging him to seek the U.S. House seat. "I'm evaluating my situation," he said, "but at this point I am seriously considering it." Nunnelee is likely to get a key Senate chairmanship from Bryant, probably the influential Finance Committee, which sets tax policy. But he said he wants to talk with Bryant soon so they can work together on whatever happens. Nunnelee said he will make his decision about the House race before Bryant's announcements.

Greg Davis, also a Republican, said he is organizing a campaign for the special election and will enter the Republican congressional primary, seeking a full, two-year term. "I first publicly expressed an interest about a week ago and I have had a meeting of my supporters," Davis said Monday. Davis, 41, served seven years in the Mississippi House of Representatives. He is a civil engineering graduate of Mississippi State University and was in the private sector before election as Southaven's full-time mayor in 1997. DeSoto County, with about 150,000 residents, is the most populous in the 1st District.

Former Tupelo Mayor Glenn McCullough Jr. looks serious about the race. He said Sunday he's spoken with his wife about it and is weighing his options.

Democrats Rep. Steve Holland of Plantersville and outgoing legislator Jamie Franks of Mooreville also say they're seriously interested.

Tupelo attorney and consultant Brad Prewitt, a former member of U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran's staff, said he is interested in running for the 1st District seat. "My problem is my wife and I are expecting twin sons in February, and I have to have a serious conversation with her about all of this."

And one more before Monday was over: Dr. Randy Russell, an Oxford eye doctor and long-time GOP activist, said he's close to getting in the race. "Opportunities like this don't come very often and you have to move quickly," he said.

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It Begins

Tupelo Daily Journal: If Wicker takes Lott seat, who takes his?

State law requires a special election within about 120 days of the vacancy. Most frequently mentioned as possible House candidates, if Wicker is tapped, are former Tupelo Mayor Glenn McCullough Jr., Prentiss County Chancery Clerk Travis Childers, state Rep. Jamie Franks of Mooreville and Southaven Mayor Greg Davis. McCullough is a Republican, Davis a Republican and Childers and Franks Democrats. Lee County Rep. Steve Holland, a Democrat, also placed himself in the list of possible candidates Sunday.

McCullough, contacted at home Sunday, said, “If the opportunity presents itself, I would have to give it serious consideration.” McCullough said he views public service “as a calling ... something I enjoy working in.” McCullough worked more than five years with the Appalachian Regional Commission, then was Tupelo mayor and most recently was executive director of the Tennessee Valley Authority. He is a private consultant now.

Holland and Franks said Sunday they’re weighing the possibilities of running for the 1st District seat if it’s an open contest without an incumbent. Franks, who leaves the Legislature next week, said, “I am weighing all the possibilities.” But he also said he will run, if Wicker is the appointee, noting it’s likely to take $1.5 million for a credible race. Holland said it is “very possible” that he will run in an open-seat scenario. “I think I would be the perfect candidate for that seat,” he said.

2008 is the year for congressional elections anyway and Jan. 11 is the candidate qualifying deadline. Party primaries for nominees in the Nov. 4 general election will take place in March. With the possibility of a congressional special election occurring about the same time, some Mississippi voters may be in for political confusion.

Holland said he has not discussed the possibility of his candidacy with Democratic Party leaders.
The legislative session begins Jan. 8.

Calls to Davis and Childers were not answered Sunday. Childers is a long-time Prentiss County officials, and Davis was in the state House of Representatives before being elected Southaven mayor in June 1997.