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.
Under the wide margins allowed by financial disclosure rules, he also reported earning between $100,001 and $1 million from a family oil and natural gas exploration business last year.