by Alan Lange

As an update on the potential Republican primary battle for Lt. Governor, the summer months seem to have defined the landscape a bit more. As always, when trying to gauge the progress of candidates and campaigns, – following the dollars – usually provides a good indication of where things stand.

Although Senator Charlie Ross and State Auditor Phil Bryant have both been traveling the state shaking hands and searching for contributors, Bryant’s public comments continue to be something along the lines of how he’s
considering various opportunities and he “may try” a run for Lt. Governor. Meanwhile, word on the street suggests that Ross is getting traction and building momentum with successful statewide fundraising. This week, Ross is having a Jackson Metro Event for which he has over 100 couples listed on the Host Committee at $1,000 a piece. This one event in particular has generated a lot of buzz with insiders saying the most they ever remember
seeing or hearing about was an ’03 Haley Barbour event with about 70 host names.

Politically, now that party faithful are paying a little more attention, the discussion seems to focus on a couple of things: 1) What happens if/when Phil Bryant vacates the State Auditor’s seat 2) A rumored general election match-up with Ronnie Musgrove. The consensus seems to be that if Musgrove really does enter the race ? the nominee is going to have to work hard, be well-financed, and carry a message that’s in sharp contrast to what Musgrove and the Democrats would be offering.

2007 is still over 3 months away. However, as they continue jockeying for position, Charlie Ross and Phil Bryant will undoubtedly maintain aggressive schedules into the Fall. This sure smells like things are about to get real interesting. Stay tuned…