Lesser Known Challengers Emerge
With less than two weeks to qualify beginning on January 2, candidates don’t have a long time to come forward and run for the House or Senate. But a few candidates have said they are running, although none that will exactly scare the incumbents. Here is the field that we are looking at right now:
** For over a year there has been talk of a Tea Party challenge to Roger Wicker. It looks like at least one candidate has come forward, Tom Cramer, a member of Gulf Coast 912 Project. Not exactly a name that will put much fear in Wicker who is likely to put out another very nice fundraising quarter in the middle of January. Cramer wants to run as an independent, which would put him on the November ballot, rather than a primary battle. I haven’t heard of any Democratic opponents, nevermind a serious opponent.
** Henry Ross has been running against Alan Nunnelee in MS-01 since about the time Nunnelee was elected. I have no reason to think he won’t be running in the primary against the incumbent, but the first name to emerge is Danny Bedwell, chairman of the Mississippi Libertarian Party. There are several Democrats left in this district, but would be shocked to see any mount a serious challenge to Nunnelee. So far, none have even been mentioned.
** Not a whole lot new in MS-02 with former Greenville Mayor Heather McTeer running against Bennie Thompson. Cobby Williams of Canton is also challenging the incumbent in the Democratic primary. And I have heard that Bill Marcy is running again on the GOP side.
** I know of nothing happening in MS-03. Pickens Mayor Joel Gill has run against Gregg Harper in 2008 and 2010, I don’t know if he wants to do it again.
** MS-04 is likely where the drama is, but its certainly unfolding slowly which is good for Steven Palazzo. The first Republican to challenge the incumbent is Ron Vincent, a Hattiesburg Tea Party organizer who sits on the Lamar County Republican Executive Committee and founded the Pine Belt Republican Club. The big questions remain: Will a well-known Republican emerge and will Gene Taylor try for a comeback? There have been rumors that both may happen, but the clock is ticking.