Congressional Race Developing in Mississippi’s 3rd District

Sixth-term US Rep. Chip Pickering (R-MS) has announced that he will not seek re-election in 2008 and with the 2007 off-year elections now history, a lively contest is developing in Mississippi’s 3rd District (Meridian, etc.) to succeed him. The district has a strong Republican tilt — Bush carried it by 65% in 2004 and 64% in 2000 — so more GOPers are likely to run. But with congressional vacancies a rarity, politicos in both parties are stirring.

For the GOP, Gregg Harper, chairman of the Rankin County Republican Party, announced this week, as did John Rounsaville, the state director of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Office. Rounsaville, 33, a former aide to Pickering, has been to Washington, DC, to meet-and-greet with potential contributors. Businessman David Landrum is expected to announce any day now. State Sen. Charlie Ross, once a well-known basketball player at Mississippi State and an unsuccessful candidate for lieutenant governor this year, is likely to announce soon.

Southern Political Report