1.05.2008

Democrats have a candidate in MS-Sen, the GOP is losing an incumbent in LA-06

Score one for Democrats. Stung by former Attorney General Mike Moore's decision to not run in Mississippi's special Senate election, Democrats finally got some good news today as their second-choice, former Governor Ronnie Musgrove, announced he was jumping in the race. He will run in against newly-appointed Senator Wicker -- which could end up being slightly awkward. From the Sun-Herald article: "Musgrove and Wicker are longtime friends and shared an apartment in Jackson when they served together in the state Senate."

The two polls taken of the race in the past few weeks have Musgrove very competitive against Wicker; one of the two even shows him ahead by double-digits -- so anything could happen here, and this is not a seat Republicans wanted to defend.

Meanwhile, Attorney General Jim Hood has now gone to court and is suing Governor Barbour to force him to schedule the election in the next 3 months. Barbour, of course, has scheduled it on November 4th, which would help Wicker tremendously by leaving him more time to build incumbency and making his election coincide with the presidential race and its boosted turnout. I don't have a sense yet of what to expect timing-wise here, and when rulings would be likely to come in. Expect decisions in the coming weeks, however, as this is clearly an emergency situation.

Meanwhile, Republicans might be on the verge of losing yet another congressman to lobbying firms, and once again have him resign in the middle of his term. Louisiana's Richard Baker who represents Baton Rouge has notified the House Clerk that he is interviewing wiht Hedge Funds Association -- a lobbying group which represents investment banks and hedge funds. If he gets the job, he says, he will quit within the month, which would lead to yet another special election. I think we can all agree that this is in very poor form and that it just speaks of the poor ethics of congressmen that they find it acceptable to quit in the middle of a two-year elected term to make more money.

This district (LA-06) is not as Republican as some of the others that are opening up lately and Democrats already have a candidate, state Rep. Don Cazayoux Jr., who was expected to run no matter what. Talk about expanding the map to districts that were nowhere on the radar screen just a few days ago. The last thing the GOP wants right now is to defend seats in special elections given how much money they had to spend to win OH-05 and how little resources they have left.

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