Shows Drops Out of Mississippi Senate Race

Posted February 19, 2008 at 3:59pm

Former Rep. Ronnie Shows (D-Miss.) announced today that he was dropping his Senate bid, clearing the way for former Gov. Ronnie Musgrove (D) to go head-to-head with newly appointed Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) in the special election to fill the remaining years left on the term of retired Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.).

In a statement released this afternoon, Shows moved quickly to back Musgrove in what some Democrats hope will be a rare statewide opportunity for Democrats in Mississippi.

“Ronnie Musgrove has a long history of working with all Mississippians to bring about change and I believe he is now our best hope to be the independent voice this state needs in Washington,” Shows said. “I look forward in the coming months to helping Governor Musgrove win this election so Mississippi will have a Senator who will work to end the partisan bickering that prevents Washington from getting anything done.”

Shows’ decision to end his short-lived Senate campaign comes two weeks after the state Supreme Court reversed a lower court decision and allowed the special election to take place in November in accordance with a timeline laid out recently by Gov. Haley Barbour (R).

That ruling came as good news to Wicker — who was appointed by Barbour at the end of December to fill Lott’s seat until a special election could be held — because it allows him some breathing room to establish himself in the Senate, increase his name recognition outside the 1st district that he used to represent and raise money before the election.

“After weeks of talking to my family and friends I have come to the conclusion that we would not be able to raise the millions of dollars needed to compete with a former Governor and the hand picked candidate from the sitting Governor,” Shows said in his statement.