The Sun Herald, 6/10/8

Interim Republican Sen. Roger Wicker’s campaign confirmed this morning that he declined an invitation to debate his opponent, the former Democratic Gov. Ronnie Musgrove, at the Neshoba County Fair later this summer.

Wicker spokesman Ryan Annison said Tuesday the proposed date would conflict with the U.S. Senate’s schedule, as it would come the last week before the August recess, when important votes are likely to be held.

Gov. Haley Barbour appointed Wicker to serve in the interim for Republican Trent Lott, who retired late last year. At the time of his appointment, Wicker represented a north Mississippi district in the U.S. House of Representatives. He faces Musgrove in the Nov. 4 elections for a chance to keep the seat.

“We welcome debates,” Annison said. ” But Sen. Wicker takes his job as a senator very seriously and doesn’t want the taxpayers to be shortchanged with his salary.”