The Meridian Star, 3/23/8

The many Republican candidates in the race for the U.S. House 3rd Congressional District seat campaigned hard in the months leading up to the March 11 primary, each of them spending lots of time, money, energy, and resources.

They were fighting for the seat that has been held by well-known Mississippians Chip Pickering, Jr., who will retire from the House at the end of term, and G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery, one of the state’s most appreciated political figures.

For most of the candidates, that part is over. They lost the primary, and can now turn their attention elsewhere.

But for Gregg Harper and Charlie Ross, the most grueling part is just under way. As the top two vote-getters in a primary that had so many candidates, no one was likely to obtain the required 51 percent of the vote needed to win the nomination. Harper and Ross are now engaged in a short, but intense, run-off campaign. Each candidate has until April 1, the date of the run-off election, to convince voters that he is the better choice for U.S. congress, and neither one seems to be wasting a second of time in which he could be picking up another vote. The winner will face Joe Gill, the Democratic candidate for the 3rd District Congressional seat.