Several high-profile Mississippi lawmakers won't seek re-election in 2007 or will run for statewide offices, giving newcomers a shot at House and Senate posts that incumbents have held for years.
Mississippians will elect a long list of officials this year, from a governor to lawmakers to sheriffs, district attorneys and county supervisors. The filing deadline for all candidates is March 1.
Party primaries are Aug. 7 and the general election is Nov. 6.
Sen. Travis Little, R-Corinth, who has served as Senate president pro tempore since 2000, says he will not be running for re-election. He has been serving in the Senate since 1992.
First-term Sen. Stacey Pickering, R-Laurel, filed qualifying papers this past week to run for state auditor. (A position which will be vacant because State Auditor Phil Bryant is now running for lieutenant governor - along with Sen. Charlie Ross of Brandon and Rep. Jamie Franks of Mooreville. Franks and Ross cannot run simultaneously for their legislative seats and for lieutenant governor - and that opens those seats.)
Rep. Jim Barnett, an 80-year-old Republican from Brookhaven, has announced that he will not seek another term. Sen. Billy Thames, 62, also is bowing out. Rep. Lee Jarrell Davis, R-Hattiesburg, has said he won't run for another term in the House, but might seek a seat on the Forest County Board of Supervisors. Rep. Robert Vince, 70, D-Sandy Hook, says he's not running again either.
[ via Holbrook Mohr, Associated Press ]