In 2008, Representative Chip Pickering’s decision to not seek reelection launched a competitive Republican Primary in Mississippi’s conservative Third Congressional District. Candidates included businessman David Landrum, state Senator Charlie Ross, USDA Rural Development Director John Rounsaville and Rankin County Republican Party Chairman Gregg Harper. Following a run-off, Harper won. Other candidates included Greg Hatcher, James Broadwater and former police officer Bill Marcy.
A newcomer to the Mississippi Republican scene, Marcy impressed the MSGOP with confidence and tough conservative talk. Republican leaders did not expect Marcy would win (he placed six in the seven man field) but believed he would have a strong future. As a black conservative, Republicans hoped he would increase the party’s appeal to minority voters.
The Party took the opportunity to promote Marcy in 2009. His Mississippi House district opened in a special election following the death of Representative Charles Young. While it was a heavily Democratic leaning seat, special elections are nonpartisan and the state GOP rallied behind Marcy with direct mail, paid and volunteer phone calls and the deployment of volunteers to do door-to-door voter outreach and ballot security. The MSGOP contributed $18,200 to his campaign.
Marcy beat out three of his opponents and made the run-off with Wilbert Jones; Jones won the subsequent run-off with 64 percent of the vote.
Marcy was not done with politics.