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CQ Politics rates this race as "Safe," meaning the incumbent party is virtually certain to win the seat.
District Profile from Politics in America
The 3rd picks up Jackson's northeast corner and some of its mostly white northern and eastern suburbs as it sprawls across 28 counties, moving from Oktibbeha and Noxubee counties in the east central part of the state to the Mississippi River in the southwestern corner.
Rankin County's growth over the past two decades has been spurred by an influx of nearby Jackson residents moving out of the city. The district's white-collar and relatively well-educated workforce provides some economic stability -- 23 percent of the district's residents have a four-year college degree, the highest percentage in the state -- but unemployment rates have hovered above national averages in many counties outside Jackson's sphere.
Timber is dominant here, although prices depend on demand from construction sectors nationwide. Health care and defense also are important industries. Meridian is home to medical centers, a Naval Air Station, an Air National Guard base and Peavey Electronics, one of the world's largest guitar and amplifier manufacturers.
Elsewhere in the district poultry and dairy farms are prevalent. Pearl's minor league baseball stadium and a Bass Pro Shop outdoor store anchor an entertainment complex. Natchez, on the Mississippi River in Adams County, relies on tourism and attracts nearly 700,000 visitors annually to its antebellum homes and dockside casino. Mississippi State University, the state's largest university, is located in Starkville at the district's northeastern tip.
Republicans now dominate the federal politics of the 3rd, as Democrats did for most of the 20th century. Black-majority and sparsely populated counties will still back Democratic candidates, but GOP Rep. Gregg Harper won convincing support in the district's population centers in 2010.
Timber, poultry, agriculture, defense
Naval Air Station Meridian, 412 military, 587 civilian (2011)
Meridian, 41,148; Jackson (pt.), 31,949; Pearl, 25,092
Mississippi State University is home to a large collection of papers from author and alumnus John Grisham.
|2010||general||Gregg Harper (R)||132,393||68%|
|Joel Gill (D)||60,737||31.2%|
|Tracella O'Hara Hill (REF)||1,586||0.8%|
|2008||general||Gregg Harper (R)||213,171||62.5%|
|Joel Gill (D)||127,698||37.5%|
|2006||general||Charles Pickering (R)||125,421||77.7%|
|Jim Giles (I)||25,999||16.1%|
|Lamonica Magee (REF)||10,060||6.2%|
|2004||general||Charles Pickering (R)||234,874||80.1%|
|Jim Giles (I)||40,426||13.8%|
|Lamonica Magee (REF)||18,068||6.2%|
|2002||general||Charles Pickering (R)||139,329||63.6%|
|Ronnie Shows (D)||76,184||34.8%|
|Jim Giles (I)||1,431||0.6%|
|Harvey Darden (I)||949||0.4%|
|Brad McDonald (LIBERT)||760||0.4%|
|Carroll Grantham (REF)||498||0.2%|
|2008||Barack Obama: 39%||John McCain: 61%|
|2004||John Kerry: 34%||George W. Bush: 65%|
|2000||Al Gore: 35%||George W. Bush: 64%|