Republican interim U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker of Tupelo and Democratic challenger former Gov. Ronnie Musgrove will not debate each other at the 2008 Neshoba County Fair, but they will address fairgoers in back-to-back speeches beginning at 10:20 a.m. on Wednesday, July 30.
A 119-year-old Mississippi institution with a 112-year-old political stump speaking tradition, the Neshoba County Fair has only been the venue of two political debates – Republican Gov. Kirk Fordice and Democratic challenger Dick Molpus in 1995 and U.S. Reps. Chip Pickering, R-Flora, and Ronnie Shows, D-Bassfield, in 2002.
Fair officials hoped to host the third debate in the fair’s history next week between Wicker and Musgrove. But after fair officials thought a deal had been brokered for a Musgrove-Wicker debate, Wicker’s campaign notified the Neshoba County Fair Association over that Wicker was declining the fair’s invitation to debate Musgrove on Thursday, July 31.