Democratic Candidates In MS-01 & MS-04?
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.