Southern Political Report – Wicker may face Tea Party challenge, Taylor may run for MS-04

Mississippi

In 2007, US Sen. Roger Wicker (R) was appointed to fill the unexpired term of Trent Lott, his mentor in politics, and was elected to the full term in 2008 with 55 percent against former Gov. Ronnie Musgrove (D). Wicker has a solid resume in Magnolia State politics, with stints in the state legislature and the US House of Representatives before his elevation to the Senate. He has maintained a mostly conservative voting record – 79 percent conservative, 21 percent liberal, says the National Journal – but there are hints he may catch some Tea Party flak in 2012. A Jackson insider, however, notes that Tea Party backed contenders in Republican primaries in the 1st (Tupelo, etc.) and 4th (Gulfport, etc.) Districts lost this year, with the establishment GOPers going on to victory in November. In addition, some of Wicker’s “liberalism” involves bringing home the bacon to Mississippi, not a major sin here. The only name mentioned as a potential Democratic foe for Wicker is defeated US Rep. Gene Taylor (D), a ten-term congressman who lost his seat this year by 47 percent to 52 percent, but the betting is that Taylor is more likely to make a run for his congressional seat again, not the US Senate.

Southern Political Report
11/17/10