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.

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