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Democratic Candidates In MS-01 & MS-04?

November 29, 2011

A lot of the talk concerning the House races next fall involves the primaries. Henry Ross and potentially others are looking to unseat Alan Nunnelee. Heather McTeer is taking on Bennie Thompson. And we already have one challenger to Steven Palazzo, but more wouldn’t surprise me.

The qualifying deadline for those wanting to run is January 13. Beyond potential primaries to Republican freshmen in MS-01 and MS-04, I wouldn’t be surprised to see fairly serious Democratic challengers in the general election. After all, they both went Republican just a year ago so they have shown a certain independent streak.

Regardless of who carries the Republican banner in MS-04, and Palazzo still has to be the favorite at this point, the biggest name Democrats can get is Gene Taylor and that would certainly be a coup putting this race probably close to toss-up territory when it begins. Of course, Taylor would still have to answer for being a Democrat. His popularity only carried him so far in 2010, but perhaps voters have changed their minds.

You also have names like David Baria and Brandon Jones if the opportunity arises. Jones is out of the House after losing a tight re-election battle while Baria is likely to have little responsibility in the new Republican House. And Baria is popular, at least in Hancock county.

The First District has long been home to many local Democrats, especially in the state legislature. Some are still around, some aren’t. But Nunnelee is pretty popular overall, so I don’t see too many Democrats jumping in to what would likely be a difficult contest. Eric Powell has been a name mentioned for various offices, but that is likely off the table after losing re-election. Someone like Nickey Browning could be a good candidate, but don’t see him running as a Democrat for federal office. Steve Holland ran back in 2008 losing to Travis Childers in the primary, and he may be one of those guys who runs because he has nothing better to do in the new House.

We aren’t a long way off in terms of qualifying deadlines, but we seem to have a long way to go until the field is settled.

14 Comments leave one →
  1. Charlie Stogner permalink
    November 29, 2011 8:34 am

    Gregg Harper recent displayed his lack of understanding why members of congress should be willing to accept roll backs in pay and perks the same as has been done by far too many of his district’s small business owners when he emphatically said NO when asked. He followed his NO with the comment he took a cut in pay when he got elected.

    It would seem to me there are some business/civic leader types within his district that may see the $174,000 plus perks as a raise not ‘cut in pay’. In fact I would like to think some truly fiscal conservative would be willing to serve while working toward cutting government expense, included congressional pay.

    There has always been the type person who wants to serve as a deacon or elder to be able to benefit financially from their role and then there are those willing to serve at a personal sacrifice. One type is in it for ‘what’s in it for me’, the other for what they can do in the sense of the phrase from the Jaycee Creed, “service to humanity is the best work of life”.

    It has been suggested in this blog that I take on Harper. I’m too old. We need some young ‘public spirited’ person willing to be a civic servant to do so.

    • Travis Rose permalink
      December 1, 2011 7:59 am

      Why do congressmen make so much anyways? The lobbyists write most of the bills anyways. Besides, they keep the proceeds from the sale of our vote.

  2. rankinlawyer permalink
    November 29, 2011 9:29 am

    Anyone who believes Harper is vulnerable is simply delusional.

  3. Bill Billingsley permalink
    November 29, 2011 10:34 am

    Can’t imagine Holland running again. He’s about to become irrelevant when his party moves aside in January, and he’ll either resign because he can’t deal with losing his status or he’ll decide to become an even bigger pain in the butt for the Republicans. I think we’re one more election from northeast Mississippi completely converting to Republican, and Holland and Tommy Reynolds and the rest of them better get ready for it.

  4. Frederick permalink
    November 29, 2011 2:14 pm

    rankinlawyer, you are on the mark. Stog, when suggested that you run, it was also said that you would find how “vulnerable’ Harper really is, when you walked away with less than 15%. Not only are you too old, you are too out of touch!

    • Ken Stribling permalink
      November 29, 2011 7:15 pm

      I strongly agree with your statement, frederick, that Harper is secure. This is because of Harper’s hard work, his sticking to principle, and his outstanding staff. He will be a Congressman as long as he wants to, as well he should.

      However, you can make that valid point without dissing Charlie Stogner, who was toiling in the Republican trenches long before you or I were born. He worked earnestly and tirelessly to help build the party, which is taken for granted today. My numerous conversations over the decades with Stog lead me to believe that he is more in touch than out of touch, in spite of his misguided view of Congressman Harper. Stog for Congress is a non-starter, true, but Gov-elect Bryant should find an appointment for Stogner, if Charlie even wants to be in the public arena. There are plenty of places in state govt he could make a good contribution.

  5. Charlie Stogner permalink
    November 29, 2011 3:36 pm

    I don’t think Harper is vulnerable. I simply think he is like many of today’s politicians, in it more for himself than the public he should want to serve.

    There are a number of GOP members of Congress suggesting they roll back congressional pay since so many small businesses have suffered lower incomes while large numbers of employees have lost jobs.

    Harper was unapologetic when he said NO he would not support a cut in his pay. He didn’t even add that he was sorry non-politicians are suffering.

    I’m afraid that while I am too old to serve if appointed, I don’t think I’m ‘out of touch’. I think I fully understand someone being in office for ‘self’ rather than for the public they’re elected to serve.

    • Bill Billingsley permalink
      November 30, 2011 9:10 am

      The reason that Harper isn’t vulnerable is the same reason that all two-time incumbents aren’t vulnerable – there’s just too much of a barrier to entry in a Congressional primary against an incumbent that has been re-elected at least once. You have a chance in the first re-election bid, which is why we’re likely to see primary opposition against Nunellee and Palazzo, but once they win their first election as an incumbent the money starts rolling in. Actually, not that many first termers lose because of the money they’ve already accumulated, but they can really raise campaign cash after they have been elected twice. An additional barrier in a Presidential election year is the early primary date, again because it makes it impossible for a primary challenger to raise any money between the November statewide election and a mid-January filing deadline. Only an independently wealthy person who’s willing to finance his own campaign would have a chance of unseating any incumbent, and Harper’s just too well-liked for even a rich guy to give him much of a problem.

  6. SaltwaterAngler permalink
    November 30, 2011 1:23 pm

    Who is the one challenger to Palazzo that we already know about? Watson?

  7. rankinlawyer permalink
    November 30, 2011 3:53 pm

    Brian Sanderson

    • Coast Rat 4ever permalink
      November 30, 2011 7:46 pm

      Has Brian announced or committed in any way? He’s a fellow Ocean Springs boy and I’ve heard his name batted around as a potential candidate but haven’t heard anything definitive.

      • Travis Rose permalink
        December 1, 2011 8:02 am

        Give us an update if you hear something John.

  8. Pat Robertson permalink
    December 1, 2011 4:10 am

    The conventional thinking of congressmen winning their 1st and 2nd races and then finding themselves in an envious and overwhelming positions of strength could find itself coming up against the new reality of Tea Party Patriots and a stronger opposition to “establishment” Republicans.

    No GOP congressman not fighting the status quo of yesteryear should feel as safe as they felt only a few short years ago in such a status. The horror of the economic situation is as bleak as ever by the Republicans who want to apply the “old ways” of tax and compromise with the Democrats.

    The Harpers and the Palazzo’s will bring our country to ruin (only slower?) as the dastardly Democrats will. Harper and Palazzo may be well intentioned but the paths of destruction have been littered with such men throughout history.

    If Mississippi finds and supports challengers to these two men in the next 30 days, all well and good, but if they do not…Mississippi and the nation will pay a much steeper price down the road. And not too far down that road in time as one might think.

    Pat Robertson

    • ron / gun control / Williams permalink
      December 2, 2011 1:18 pm

      Hey Pat,

      I might run. Just waiting to see. Some folks are pushing hard.

      I’m concerned about the ignorance our National ( R ) leaders are displaying on the Fast and Furious issue.

      I thought it was thr Republican Mantra that ( guns don’t kill people, people kill people ). Now the hearing is blaming Eric Holder for allowing the fast and furious guns to kill the border patrol officer.

      The perpetrators of that Murder killed the officer. The guns involved are irrelevant.

      Are we, as Republicans, now saying we need morre gun control? These ” party” goons, care less about the constitution than they do about making their political opponents look bad.

      If I were the NRA or any other American who believes in the 2nd amendment, I would be upset as to where this is going. ( and I am )

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