The 2011 Election Season Officially Begins
Just as a programming note, while many in the media will focus on the state legislative session we will most likely devote a good chunk of our attention and resources to the November elections. Not that we won’t cover the session, and some of the key moments, but I just feel this is the best use of time.
As for those November elections, I consider today the official kickoff. It is the first day candidates can formally qualify for office. For non-legislative office seekers, the deadline is March 1 while those in the legislature will have until June 1.
** We have posted our ‘Big Board’ earlier today with a list of names ranging from confirmed candidates to the longest of long-shots at actually entering. That post will be updated frequently, and you can easily find it in the new ‘Hot List’ category at the top of the blog.
Democratic gubernatorial candidate updates. Businessman Bill Luckett has officially qualified as a candidate for governor. He did so earlier this morning at the Democratic Party headquarters. Here is a statement from Luckett: “My run for governor is a campaign for Mississippi. I will make my candidacy for Governor official on the first day, during the first hour qualifying for office is open. Mississippians work hard putting food on the table and building strong families. Our Governor must work just as hard, and that begins as a candidate. I will continue traveling to all of our counties and communities, joining fellow Mississippians around dinner tables and in living rooms listening to and sharing our common vision for Mississippi’s future.”
** Unless some other big names enter, Luckett’s likely competition for the nomination is Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree. DuPree recently posted a bio-type piece on YouTube.
Bryant’s in, updates made. Phil Bryant formally announced his candidacy for governor this morning as was reported that he would last week. PhilBryant.com, his campaign site, has been changed over to reflect the announcement and he has also started a Twitter account- @PhilBryantMS. It looks like @PhilBryant was already taken by someone in California.
Lee Yancey in? According to Bobby Harrison’s latest column in the Daily Journal, Lee Yancey is in the race for Treasurer. This is certainly not a surprise, but the first time I have read it in a major publication in such absolute terms. I suspect we will formally hear something from Yancey after Tate Reeves finally makes his intentions clear (which should be this week).
** This means that once again Senate District 20 will have a candidate running for statewide office (Charlie Ross held the seat previously). And that should be no surprise. Along with the two Senate seats in Desoto county, this seat probably has the largest concentration of local Republican office holders (along with Republican primary voters). Look for a big fight for the Republican nomination for the open seat in August.
McMillin to run as… A rumor that is floating around right now is that Hinds County Sheriff Malcolm McMillin, a Democrat, may run as an independent candidate for re-election. The concern for McMillin is, as it always has been, that he may lose a primary. Generally speaking, the Republicans in Hinds county vote in the Democratic primary as that is where most county wide offices are decided and they have helped boost McMillin in the past.
The thinking is now that many Republicans have already made up their mind to switch over to the GOP primary where we will see major statewide battles. If McMillin does in fact run as an independent, you can be sure even more Republicans will make the decision to vote in the GOP primary.
Senate District 46 race. Sen. David Baria defeated former Sen. Scottie Cuevas by a couple dozen votes in the Democratic primary in 2007. Cuevas had a reputation as a conservative Democrat while Baria is a former president of the Mississippi Trial Lawyers Association. Baria then easily won that November facing no Republican opponent.
Look for Baria to face a Republican this time, and an interesting note is that Cuevas told the local Sea Coast Echo that he plans on running for an office in 2011, although he did not elaborate further or with which party he would do so. Is a rematch with Baria coming?
Tea Party sponsored SD6 forum tomorrow. The three special election races are one week from tomorrow. The Tupelo Tea Party will be hosting a forum tomorrow in Tupelo at noon with all candidates for Alan Nunnelee’s old Senate seat expected to attend.