Tupelo Republican state Sen. Alan Nunnelee got his political campaign rolling Monday, officially, with paperwork to the Federal Election Commission.
Nunnelee seeks to oust incumbent Rep. Travis Childers, a conservative Dem from Booneville. The election is in November 2010, 17 months away.
Nunnelee says he's "excited" at the prospect.
I groaned at the prospect, but hey, it's great to be working and contributing to the regional chatter about politics, a staff of life for some of us weirdos.
Joe Atkins, a longtime political nerd and Ole Miss journalism prof, has some interesting observations on first blush per Nunnelee's news.
1. In Mississippi, it's really hard to unseat an incumbent, so it's going to take a big effort by anybody to do so.
2. Childers is a serious "Blue Dog" Democrat, one of those cantankerous, ornery fiscally conservative congressmen who challenge President Obama's ideas right and right (not right and left, it's a joke). They want to know how things are going to be paid for because they vote for them, generally. So, it's going to be hard for Nunnelee to make the "liberal" tag stick on Childers, a former Prentiss County chancery clerk.
3. Childers also has been doing what his constituents want him to do.
4. Campaign money tends to tilt toward the guy (or woman) who's been there.
5. And conservative Nunnelee is wading into deep water if he wants to criticize Childers for supporting economic stimulus efforts. Childers opposed early bailouts, and Nunnelee – as the Senate Appropriations Chairman – pretty much had to kiss the federal money to solve the state's deep financial hole.
But it's very early, and we'll all be half insane by the time this election and others in 2010 are over.
Pray for us all .... patsy