All Incumbents Will Face Opponents In 2012
With the close of business on Friday, the period to qualify for House and Senate races ended with all incumbents facing both primary and general election challengers, but featuring few names you have probably heard of.
One of the big stories, at least from my prospective, was the relative free pass that Rep. Steven Palazzo has received. For some time we have read about rather embarrassing stories from his office but at the end of the day Gene Taylor stayed out and so did prominent Republicans who were rumored- such as state Sen. Michael Watson or attorney Brian Sanderson. Instead, Palazzo will face Ron Vincent and Cindy Burleson in the primary and either Jason Vitosky or Michael Herrington in the general. Another Democrat, Joshua LaRose, qualified but apparently he lives in Florida and the party has said he won’t be certified. And it looks like Ron Williams, the former Republican gubernatorial candidate who would go on to endorse Democrat Johnny DuPree, will be running as a Libertarian.
Palazzo should also get a nice boost in February as House Majority Leader Eric Cantor will be in Gulfport helping raise money for the incumbent.
In MS-01, former state Rep. Mark DuVall dropped out after Brad Morris, former chief of staff to Travis Childers, got in the race, and he will be the lone Democrat hoping to unseat Rep. Alan Nunnelee. Nunnelee first has to hold off two Republicans in the primary, including Henry Ross, who also ran in 2010, and Robert Estes. Ross formally entered the race this week after his campaign got off with a bit of a glitch when they were forced to remove Howie Morgan as campaign manager. John Collin Thompson is now working for the Ross campaign who put out their first ad today; going directly after Nunnelee.
And as some of the readers have noted, you will also see Danny Bedwell, who is running on the Libertarian Party label, in the general.
As expected, Heather McTeer will run against Rep. Bennie Thompson in the Democratic primary in MS-02 with the winner of that facing 2010 Republican candidate Bill Marcy in the general. And in MS-03, Rep. Gregg Harper will meet Robert Allen in the primary with Crystal Biggs running as a Democrat.
And in the Senate we will have another big field, but again without many big names. Running against Sen. Roger Wicker in the GOP primary will be Allen Hathcock and Robert Maloney. Competing for the Democratic nomination will be Albert Gore, Jr. and Roger Weiner. Shortly after the 2010 elections, there was talk of how some were hoping to get a strong Tea Party challenge to Wicker. I imagine the Republicans in this race, and all the races featuring incumbent Republicans, will run to the right but to quote Smokey and the Bandit, they have a long way to go and a short time to get there.