The Clarion-Ledger Editorial, 7/30/8

What the state’s premier political stump will lose in volume this year with a third fewer speakers than last year’s crowded field of candidates, “Mississippi’s Giant Houseparty” will make up for in intensity in several key races.

Republican interim U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker of Tupelo and Democratic challenger former Gov. Ronnie Musgrove will not debate each other at the 2008 Neshoba County Fair, but they will address fairgoers in back-to-back speeches beginning at 10:20 a.m. today.

Fair officials had hoped to host the third debate in the fair’s history between Wicker and Musgrove. A 119-year-old Mississippi institution with a 112-year-old political stump speaking tradition, the Neshoba County Fair has hosted two debates – Republican Gov. Kirk Fordice and Democratic challenger Dick Molpus in 1995 and U.S. Reps. Chip Pickering, R-Flora, and Ronnie Shows, D-Bassfield, in 2002.