When you look at the field for the 2012 Mississippi Congressional and Senate elections, the one thing that jumps out is that Mississippi Democrats ARE fielding candidates, something they struggled to do in the 2011 state elections.
Here’s how the 2012 federal elections are set:
• Senator Roger Wicker will face fellow Republicans E. Allen Hathcock and Robert Maloney in the Republican Primary. Democrats are channeling their inner national politicos with Albert N. Gore Jr. (not the former Vice President) and Roger Weiner (not the former Congressman from up north). Tom Cramer was attempting to gain enough signatures to run as an Independent but we have not been able to confirm his entrance into this race as of yet. **UPDATE: Will Oatis also qualified to run as a Democrat in this race.
• MS 1: Republican Congressman Alan Nunnelee will once again face Henry Ross as well as Robert Estes in the Republican Primary. Democratic qualifiers include Brad Morris (former Travis Childers Chief of Staff) and Mark DuVall (former state Representative). **UPDATE: We have now heard that DuVall has dropped out of this race. **UPDATE: Danny Bedwell qualified for this race as a Libertarian.
• MS 2: Democratic Congressman Bennie Thompson will face former Greenville Mayor Heather McTeer in the Democratic Primary. Perenial Republican challenger Bill Marcy will run once again.
• MS 3: Republican Congressman Gregg Harper is unopposed. **UPDATE: We have learned that Harper will have a Republican and Democrat challenger. We are hearing that Bob Allen is the GOP qualifier. The Democratic challenger will be Crystal Biggs.
• MS 4: Republican Congressman Steven Palazzo will face Cindy Burleson and Ron Vincent in the Republican Primary. Democratic qualifiers include Michael Herrington and Joshua LaRose (notice there is no ‘Gene Taylor’ listed). **UPDATE: The SunHerald is reporting that another Democrat has entered this race, Jason Vitosky. Also, they note that Robert Claunch will be a Reform Party candidate. **UPDATE: Ron Williams, former Republican gubernatorial candidate in 2011 who endorsed Democrat Johnny DuPree has qualified for this seat as a Libertarian.
All in all, the Tea Party identified candidates appear to be Cramer (Senate, if qualified), Estes (MS 1), Marcy (MS 2) and Vincent (MS 4), or at least these have publicly aligned themselves with the group.
We’ll check for any last minute qualifiers that we may have missed and post them if need be. Or if you notice we missed one, send us an email or leave us a comment on Facebook or Twitter.