The Clarion-Ledger Editorial, 10/12/8

Mississippi’s U.S. House delegation will be changing significantly after the Nov. 4 general election.

With former longtime Republican 1st District U.S. Rep. Roger Wicker of Tupelo vacating his seat to try to move to the U.S. Senate and with Republican 3rd District U.S. Rep. Chip Pickering of Flora stepping down after six terms, the dynamics of Mississippi’s delegation are set to change dramatically.

Now, in a Democratic-controlled House, 2nd District U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Bolton, and 4th District U.S. Rep. Gene Taylor, D-Bay St. Louis, are the “go team” in terms of the state’s clout in the House.

Both should handily win re-election in November based on their seniority and committee assignments.

Thompson is serving his eighth term and chairs the House Homeland Security Committee – Mississippi’s only House committee chairmanship. Thompson faces the challenge of Republican educator Richard Cook of Byram, who teaches sixth grade gifted students in the Jackson Public Schools.

Taylor has held his seat since 1989. On the House Armed Service Committee, he chairs the powerful subcommittee on Seapower and Expeditionary Forces. Taylor faces the challenge of Republican political newcomer John McCay III, a Methodist minister and chaplain in the Mississippi Air National Guard.

But two of the state’s House seats are up for grabs on Nov. 4.