When Gov. Haley Barbour and Attorney General Jim Hood wrangled last spring about a special election date for Mississippians to choose Sen. Trent Lott’s successor, Barbour won the legal argument and picked Nov. 4, when Americans choose their next president.
Barbour could have set the election for soon after he appointed Tupelo’s then-Rep. Roger Wicker, a fellow Republican, to the interim position in late December.
Political observers saw Wicker with immediate financial backing from his own and Barbour’s extensive network with no effective Democratric challenge on the horizon to complete Lott’s term in Washington, D.C.
But Barbour insisted upon November, saying it made sense because of the national election.
“This may have been the worst decision he’s ever made,” said longtime political analyst Dr. Marty Wiseman.