A businessman from the Gulf Coast, actor Morgan Freeman’s friend and business partner, and four sitting statewide officeholders are among those eyeing a run for Mississippi’s top two political spots in 2011.
Republican Gov. Haley Barbour still has two years left on his second and final term, but a field of candidates is beginning to take shape for the Democratic and Republican primaries.
The gubernatorial field includes Republican Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant.
If Bryant runs, as expected, both seats would be up for wide-open races with no incumbent challengers in the mix.
“Anyone who is looking at or running for governor or lieutenant governor – races of this magnitude for the state of Mississippi – is already in play and already way down the line,” said Republican State Auditor Stacey Pickering, who is exploring a run for lieutenant governor.