The Clarion-Ledger, 2/4/9

Former Democratic Gov. Ray Mabus is a top candidate to be the next civilian chief of the Navy, analysts say.

Loren Thompson, a military analyst with the Lexington Institute, said Mabus’ name is the one most mentioned among military watchers for the job of secretary of the Navy.

“It appears right now that Mabus is the frontrunner,” Thompson said.

Mabus said Tuesday he could not comment.

But defense industry publications Inside The Navy and Inside Defense also have said the former Mississippi governor has emerged as the frontrunner for the position.