Analysis: Legislative session will provide gubernatorial hopefuls place to shine

The 2011 legislative session will be a platform for Republican Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant to raise his profile as he goes into full-fledged campaign mode to run for governor.

Term limits prevent Republican Gov. Haley Barbour from running a third time, so the field is wide-open.

Gulf Coast businessman Dave Dennis is gearing up to run for governor as a Republican, while Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann is playing coy about whether he’ll enter the GOP gubernatorial primary. Clarksdale lawyer and businessman Bill Luckett and Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree are taking steps to run for governor as Democrats.

Bryant is in his first term as lieutenant governor, and as presiding officer in the Senate he has a political edge.