Challenging an incumbent in a federal race is pretty tough. A candidate certainly doesn’t need any distractions to keep voters from focusing on anything other than the message. Or as the saying goes, the “main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing”.

Henry Ross, who is challenging Rep. Alan Nunnelee in the MS-1 Republican primary again, may have had his job get a bit tougher. His campaign manager, Howie Morgan of Oxford, was involved in a DUI incident in Oxford on February 3, 2011. Right of MS recounts the Oxfordcrimereport.com story.

Now this week while Ross was going to announce his campaign against Nunnelee, Morgan was booked by the Lafayette County Sheriff’s Department on 3 counts of false pretense (which usually involves bad checks of large amounts). YP has obtained the booking report.

This is only a charge and has obviously not been adjudicated, but for a campaign written up in RollCall this week, such news is not what you want to see if you’re Henry Ross.

Morgan spent the 2011 cycle helping Ricky Dombrowski (R) in his unsuccessful challenge to Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann. Hosemann won re-election in a landslide.

Earlier this week, Henry Ross’s campaign postponed the campaign kickoff due to the cold weather in North Mississippi. On the 11th, the day after the arrest, Morgan sent out the following release on behalf of the campaign.

Citing weather that may bring snow and temperatures as low as 27 degrees on Thursday, the Henry Ross campaign for US Congress will postpone its announcement tour until next week. The media and the public will receive further notification of new dates, times, and places on Friday for events that will now be held next week.

In a statement, Morgan this afternoon resigned from the Ross campaign to keep from further distraction and hopes to resolve the outstanding conflict shortly. Morgan said:

Henry Ross has accepted my resignation from his campaign for Congress. I do not want this matter to be a distraction from his efforts and am stepping down so that I can focus on bringing to a quick and favorable conclusion the allegations against me, a process that I expect will be completed within days.