Think Progress, 11/26/7

Earlier today, Senate Minority Whip Trent Lott (R-MS) announced that he “will be retiring from the Senate by the end of the year.” Soon after the announcement, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R) put out a statement declaring that “pursuant to Mississippi law,” he would “call a Special Election for United States Senator to be held on November 4, 2008.?

If Lott does indeed retire by the end of 2007, as he says he wishes to do, Barbour’s proposed timing for the election might run afoul of state election law. According to the Mississippi secretary of state’s office, Barbour would have to hold the election before Nov. 2008.

It is speculated that Lott is retiring now so that he can avoid tougher restrictions on former members of Congress’ lobbying activities, but if Lott leaves before 2007 and forces an earlier special election, he may threaten his party’s continued control of his seat.