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  • Wicker for Senate
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Cochran’s Competition- Don’t Lose Any Sleep Fellow Republicans

I guess you could say its bad for democracy to only have one candidate; on the other hand there should be a limit to the number of races you could lose.

From the Associated Press:

Two Democrats have signed up for their party’s Senate primary - former state Representative Erik Fleming of Clinton and perennial candidate Shawn O’Hara. Both have lost statewide elections after failing to raise enough cash to run effective campaigns.

9 Responses to “Cochran’s Competition- Don’t Lose Any Sleep Fellow Republicans”

  1. I kinda disagree with the thrust of this post–no Republican seat should ever go unchallenged, and Fleming should be commended for putting his name into a race that nobody else wanted to run. That way if Thad Cochran were to (God forbid) be arrested in an airport restroom two weeks before the election, or (even worse) be seen cheering for the wrong team in an Ole Miss vs. LSU game, there would be a Democrat in place to pick up the votes.

    O’Hara needs to stop running for stuff, though, seriously. And I think if O’Hara actually beats Fleming in the primary, we seriously need to rethink the priorities of the state party.

  2. Although he lost his primary in August, I would imagine Flemming wins based on the fact that he won a crowded primary in 06 and I would imagine blacks would make a solid majority of the voters (esp. since the Republicans didn’t put up a Dem challenger to Thompson- like Espy last time and have no real reason of crossing over).

    I honestly don’t know alot about Flemming, is he liked in Democratic circles? what was the reason for him losing his primary?

  3. Fleming is very well-liked among union folks. He was probably the most pro-union guy in the Mississippi House; pro-life and a card-carrying member of the NRA, but great (from my left-libertarian POV) on civil rights, immigration, and the death penalty. On the other hand, he’s a professional abstinence educator who endorsed Lyndon LaRouche for president in 2004, and there are some other various problems with his candidacy that I don’t really want to get into here, as I was already a lot harder on him during the 2006 campaign than I wish I had been.

    He lost to Kimberly Campbell, I think, primarily for two reasons:

    (1) His somewhat eccentric behavior during the reelection campaign, which included selling a campaign thong (yes, thong) on CafePress.

    (2) Her kickbutt political skills.

    Fleming ran against Trent Lott in 2006, and got about 35% of the vote. I’ve met him, and like him as a person, but I don’t think he could beat Thad Cochran under ordinary circumstances. As waiting-in-the-wing candidates go, though, he’s miles better than Shawn O’Hara.

  4. Is Flemming in Bennie Thompson’s Congressional District ?
    How old is he ?
    Maybe running against Lott/ Cochran could lay the groundwork for a run at D2 if Thompson ever retires.(?)

  5. He represented District 72, which I think is Thompson’s, and he’s in his early 40s. He could definitely make a run for it later, though I don’t know how strong his base of support is–bearing in mind that he did lose to Campbell in the primary in the district where he is best known, and isn’t well know outside of that district. But I would imagine that down the road, he would definitely be a viable D2 contender if he got the AFL-CIO’s endorsement, which would certainly be a strong possibility.

    ‘Course Kimberly Campbell is establishing the same sorts of bona fides that Fleming has as we speak, so she could also replace Thompson. There are some great candidates in D2 who don’t want to challenge an incumbent they like, particularly one who has so much seniority and power in the House, but when he retires, a lot of folks are going to come out of the woodwork.

  6. “which I think is Thompson’s” –> “which I think is in Thompson’s district”

  7. Yes, it is in the 2nd- http://www.ls.state.ms.us/house/fleming.htm

  8. I think some of Fleming’s other mistakes also led to his defeat including sending graphic sexual jokes by accident to all the House members’ emails and having to apologize for that, and worse than that, domestic abuse responses by the police to his household.

    I heard he was intending to jump in the race against Wicker, but the Democrat leadership convinced him to go for Cochran instead to limit the vote splitting in the special.

  9. Hi all,

    TH’s second point on his assessment of why I lost that election was dead on. Rep. Campbell used her natural network of church members and community people she grew up with and those individuals that her parents had relationships with to organize an effective campaign to defy the pollsters.

    Polls leading up to the election were showing me with a comfortable lead, but Campbell was very effective in phone banking and canvassing that last weekend, picking up an incredible amount of undecided voters.

    Did the missteps in my career that Ken and TH pointed out have an effect? I am sure that they did, which was odd because in that same district in 2006, our campaign won every time by a considerable margin, and despite them, will probably win again this year.

    The one thing I can say is that unlike most public servants, I have been accountable for all my mistakes, and learned from them. Even to the extent of personal changes beyond the political world.

    The biggest mistake I think I made in the last campaign was going negative on my opponent, even if it was factual. I have always tried to run positive campaigns, contrasting philosophies, but not attacking. I did that and it was very awkward.

    In this uphill campaign against Cochran, my basic strategy is to go back to my roots, being uplifting and positive. I intend to be straightforward about what I believe in for Mississippi’s future and do my best to win the confidence of the citizens of this state. I am cautiously optimistic about my chances, but experience has taught me that change is hard to achieve here. especially when I don’t have personal axe to grind with Cochran.

    I truly believe however that we, as a state, need to go in a different direction to improve the lives of our citizens in this, the 21st Century and that is my motivation for taking another shot at going to Washington to represent Mississippi in the U.S. Senate.

    Things should get interesting after March 11, if not before. Until then, keep blogging.

    Erik R. Fleming
    Democratic Candidate for the U.S. Senate

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