Congressional race spending mounting

In the Republican runoff for the 3rd District seat, former state Sen. Charlie Ross holds the fund-raising edge.

Ross has raised more than $680,000 in his race against Gregg Harper, a prosecutor in Brandon and Richland.

Former Sen. Trent Lott contributed $4,000 this week to Harper’s campaign. Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant also donated $1,000. Bryant defeated Ross last year in the lieutenant governor’s race.

Harper supplemented the contributions of the high-profile Mississippi Republicans by loaning his campaign $20,000.

The seat is being vacated by Rep. Chip Pickering, who did not seek re-election,

In the race for the 1st District seat, Republican and former Tupelo Mayor Glenn McCullough Jr. holds the fundraising lead. The seat was vacated early this year when Rep. Roger Wicker, a Republican, was appointed to the Senate by Gov. Haley Barbour.

McCullough raised nearly $470,000 from Jan. 1 to March 12, according to the latest filings with the Federal Election Commission. He spent about half of his campaign cash to pay OnMessage Inc., a GOP political consulting firm in Alexandria, Va., for advertising and other campaign services. The firm also has provided campaign commercials for Mississippi’s Sen. Thad Cochran and former Lt. Gov. Amy Tuck, both Republicans.

McCullough’s campaign also spent $3,500 to survey likely Republican runoff voters in his race against Southaven Mayor Greg Davis. The runoff was scheduled because none of the 1st District candidates won at least 51 percent of the vote in Mississippi’s March 11 primary.

Clarion Ledger
3/22/8