The Clarion-Ledger, 5/20/8

Seldom has a member of Congress had so little seniority and so much clout.

Rep. Travis Childers, D-1st District, became the newest member of the U.S. House of Representatives today to rousing applause from Democrats – and glum looks from Republicans who sat on their hands.

“I want to let everyone in here know that I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work,” said Childers after taking the oath of office.

Childers’ defeat of Republican Greg Davis in a runoff to a special election last week cracked the GOP hold of a Deep South district that was represented by Roger Wicker from 1995 until he was appointed to the Senate in January.

The defeat, following the loss of Republican seats in special elections in Louisiana and Illinois, has GOP leaders reassessing their message and methods in the run up to November’s elections, when the party has to defend about 30 seats that will be vacated by retiring Republican lawmakers, like Mississippi 3rd District Rep. Chip Pickering.

Pickering’s seat may be safe for the GOP, but others are not.