Perry – GOP lines up against Childers

Eight months before the qualifying deadline for Mississippi’s First Congressional District, several Republican names have surfaced as potential challengers for first term Democrat Travis Childers: Alan Nunnelee, Wesley Walls, Sam Haskell, Angela McGlowan, and Henry Ross.

First elected to the state Senate in 1995, Nunnelee serves as Appropriations Chairman and led Senate negotiators during the recent special session to create Mississippi’s budget. His dual role as budget leader and potential congressional candidate raised his profile and made him a target for Democratic attacks designed to weaken Republican budget efforts and bloody Nunnelee before a 2010 race.

Walls, 43, a Pontotoc native and All American athlete and scholar at the University of Mississippi, played in the NFL for the 49ers, Saints, Panthers, and with fellow Mississippian Brett Favre at the Packers. Now retired with a Super Bowl ring and five Pro Bowl appearances, Walls operates a commercial real estate business in North Carolina, but calls Mississippi’s First District home.

Haskell, former Executive Vice President and Worldwide Head of Television for the William Morris Agency, and his wife Mary Donnelly Haskell (1977 Miss Mississippi) both hail from Ole Miss and are building a home in Oxford. Currently, Haskell is promoting his memoir, “Promises I Made My Mother” and over the past three months has appeared on The Today Show, the CBS Early Show, Fox and Friends, Tavis Smiley, Larry King, The 700 Club, On the Record with Greta van Sustren, MSNBC’s Morning Joe, and Fox’s Huckabee. He is scheduled to be on The Sean Hannity Show next month. His district may be more in-tune to WTVA-Tupelo and WCBI-Columbus; but primary voters also tend to be national news consumers.

Mississippians may remember Haskell for his “Stars Over Mississippi” events in Amory that have raised millions of dollars for Mississippi students and for his work producing “Mississippi Rising” – the star studded benefit concert the raised $15 million for Katrina victims and recovery.

Another Oxford celebrity-styled candidate, herself a former beauty queen, who has been mentioned as a candidate is Fox News contributor Angela McGlowan. Currently CEO of Political Strategies & Insights, her background includes government affairs for the Rupert Murdoch’s entertainment conglomerate News Corporation, and work on Capitol Hill for congressmen from Maryland and Nevada. McGlowan, too, has been promoting a book, “Bamboozled: How Americans are being Exploited by the Lies of the Liberal Agenda.”

Ross, former Mayor of Eupora, is the only announced candidate, making public his decision at a Lowndes County Republican Women gathering early last month. Ross served in the Department of Justice under President George W. Bush as senior counsel to the assistant attorney general for the environment and natural resources. He embraces the “faith, family, freedom” Republican message, and other the Nunnelee the only of these potential candidates with elected experience.

Brian Perry
Madison County Journal