Prominent Democrats will skip convention

Reps. Gene Taylor of the 4th District and Travis Childers of the 1st District are delegates. But they don’t plan to go to Denver to vote for their party’s presidential nominee.

It’s customary for Taylor, one of the most rebellious Democrats in the House, to skip his party’s conventions.

Childers, winner of a special election to fill the House seat formerly occupied by Roger Wicker, is a conservative Democrat like Taylor. He is running to keep his seat from Republican Greg Davis in the fall.

“We have got our plate full,” said Brad Morris, Childers’ chief of staff. “I don’t see us getting involved in another race.”

Congress will recess for the Democratic and Republican conventions. But Morris said his boss’ duties won’t allow him to take a week off to go to Denver.

“Not when we have constituents who need help,” Morris said.

Another leading Mississippi Democrat who likely will skip the convention is former Gov. Ronnie Musgrove, who is running against Wicker for the Senate seat Wicker was appointed to occupy after former Sen. Trent Lott, a Republican, retired.

“He’s not a delegate. He’s not an alternate,” Musgrove campaign chairman Tim Phillips said. “We’re putting Mississippi first.”

Like Taylor and Childers, Musgrove has not endorsed a candidate for president.

Clarion Ledger
6/29/8