WAVELAND — The House District 122 race in Hancock County is one of several being tracked closely by political parties and special interests in the battle for control of the House and speakership.
Democratic state Sen. David Baria faces Republican challenger Dorothy Wilcox in the race. Both are from Waveland.
They are vying for the seat being vacated by longtime state Rep. J.P. Compretta, one of South Mississippi’s most powerful legislators, who did not seek re-election.
Lawyer and demolition contractor Baria, 48, who has Compretta’s endorsement and backing from nurses, educators, police and gun-rights groups, said he decided to switch from the Senate to the House so he could have more impact as a lawmaker. He said he plans to continue his push for insurance reform to help the post-Katrina Coast. His (and others’) insurance-reform efforts in the Senate often were stifled by the Republican leadership and Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant declined Baria’s request to serve on the Insurance Committee.