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Tad Campbell To Challenge Terry Burton

May 23, 2011

We have just received word that Rep. Tad Campbell (R-Meridian), who opted against re-election in the House, had decided to make a Senate bid against Sen. Terry Burton (R-Newton). Burton has taken a high-profile role in the redistricting wars, and has irritated a number of conservatives first with his desire to collapse a Republican district in favor of a majority-black district along with his support of the House Democrats restricting plan.

As for this district, Burton has held the seat since 1992. Campbell served just one term in the House, but geography is in play here. Based on 2002 numbers, Lauderdale precincts made up about 32 percent of the district (18,000 residents). All of Newton is in the district, and their 22,000 residents made up about 39 percent of the district. The remaining live in Scott county. So Newton plus Scott make up two-thirds of the residents, but this is a GOP primary we are talking about. Newton county, home base of Burton, simply doesn’t vote in the GOP primary. Democratic gubernatorial candidates got around 5,000 votes in 2007 while less than 800 votes were made on the GOP side. But it’s a different story with Campbell’s home base of Lauderdale. In 2007, 11,500 votes were cast for Republican gubernatorial candidates versus about 4,500 for Democratic gubernatorial candidates. (Those numbers were based on all of Lauderdale which is why the numbers were that high).

The GOP will stay out of this and it is certainly too early to tell what type of role individual Republicans members of the House or Senate may play in this, but it looks like Burton is in for a fight. If Campbell can get the votes in Lauderdale, Burton is going to need to figure out some way to get voters in the Newton to vote in the GOP primary.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. rubradog permalink
    May 23, 2011 3:22 pm

    Ouch! Burton had better get nervous or start looking for another job. Campbell is ultraconservative and is just the type of candidate those who vote in the R primary in Lauderdale County will support. I don’t know why he decided to leave the House but my guess is that he felt like there was not enough Maalox in the world to keep him from getting ulcers if he stayed in that place any longer.

  2. jason permalink
    May 23, 2011 10:58 pm

    I am glad that there will be a Republican in this race instead of the Rino that has been holding the seat. It wouldn’t surprise me to see Burton switch parties and run as a Democrat, or if not that, run as an Independent.

  3. MSDawg permalink
    May 23, 2011 11:06 pm

    Please let us know where we can send contributions to Rep. Campbell…

  4. FWIW permalink
    May 24, 2011 11:59 am

    I was thinking the exact same thing as Jason, that Sen. Burton might leave the GOP for his reelect run. What a shame that would be and that things have come to this.

    It was a terrific act of courage for him to switch to the GOP back in 2002 and I just wish it had worked out better for all concerned than it has. I’m grateful for his being among the multitude of Dems who, having seen the light, had the strength of purpose and fortitude to do the right thing and make a difference by leaving the liberal party to bolster the conservative party.


  1. Tad Campbell To Challenge Terry Burton | WMOX Radio - AM 1010 WMOX Meridian, Mississippi

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