The Clarion-Ledger, 10/15/8

U.S. Rep. Chip Pickering, a deft legislator and shrewd politician, served his final days in the House of Representatives this month, but few think it’s the end of his political career.

“My guess is he’s going to make some money and run to succeed Sen. Thad Cochran,” said University of Virginia political science professor Larry Sabato.

The popular Cochran, a Republican, is expected to be re-elected to another six-year term in November, though it has been speculated he could retire early.

When he announced he wouldn’t run for re-election, Pickering, a boyish, 45-year-old Republican, said he needed to leave public service to earn money to put his five boys through college. His House salary this year is $169,300.