Moore says no to campaign for U.S. Senate

Published 8:49 am Friday, December 14, 2007

JACKSON (AP) — Former Attorney General Mike Moore says he won’t be a candidate for the U.S. Senate next year.

Moore made the announcement Thursday.

The special election is next Nov. 4, 2008. The candidates will run without party designation. The top two vote-getters, if no one wins a majority, would go on to a runoff.

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U.S. Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss., announced last month that he will retire by the end of the year. Governor Haley Barbour set the special election date. Lott’s term runs to 2012.

Moore was among the most prominent Democrats mentioned as possible candidates. Others are former Governors Ronnie Musgrove and Ray Mabus.

Among Republicans are U.S. Reps. Chip Pickering and Roger Wicker.

Barbour must appoint someone to serve in the post during calendar 2008 until the special election is held.

Moore said in a statement he has the money in the bank and support in the polls to win. But, he said, “I have always known that what I am doing now is good enough for me.”

He said spending time with his family and working on community projects as two things he wants to concentrate on.

“Everybody says (Moore) was waiting on his first chance to go to Washington. That was it,” said Marty Wiseman, director of the Stennis Institute of Government at Mississippi State University. “Now that he is out of the way, it could have the same effect as an incumbent stepping down. Traditionally, when an incumbent leaves, multiple candidates go after the seat.”

Former U.S. Rep. Mike Espy, state Rep. Erik Fleming, a Democrat who challenged Lott in 2006, and former Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. also have been touted as Democratic contenders.