Childers to stay out of transportation race

Outgoing 1st District U.S. Rep. Travis Childers, D-Booneville, said Wednesday he has ruled out a run for Northern District transportation commissioner.
“I am not going to be a candidate in the highway commissioner race,” Childers said Tuesday from Washington, D.C., where he is finishing up his duties as a member of the U.S. House.
Many speculated that Childers would be a natural candidate for the transportation commissioner post since his 1st District covers much of the same area as the Transportation Commission’s Northern District.
Gov. Haley Barbour has set a special election for Jan. 11 to fill the post left vacant by the unexpected death on Nov. 1 of Commissioner Bill Minor, D-Holly Springs.
Already announced for the race are House Transportation Chair Warner McBride, D-Courtland; Joey Hood of Itawamba County, a long-time Department of Transportation employee; and John Caldwell, DeSoto Schools transportation director.
While Childers said he would not be a candidate for the transportation commissioner slot, he did not rule out the possibility of again pursuing office.
Childers was elected four terms as Prentiss County chancery clerk before winning a special election in early 2008 to the U.S. House. He won re-election later that year but was defeated Nov. 2 by state Sen. Alan Nunnelee, R-Tupelo.
Childers said he would return to his family businesses, which include a personal care home and the real estate-appraiser business.
“We are business folks,” he said. “We always have been.”
Of the transportation commissioner election, he said, “I am not a candidate looking for a race.”
While citing no specific names, he said there will be candidates who will ensure that highways improvements that began when Reps. John David Pennebaker, D-New Albany, and Billy McCoy, D-Rienzi, pushed through the 1987 Four-Laning legislation will continue. The qualifying deadline is Dec. 12.
“We’re riding on four-lane highways in north Mississippi I never thought I would see as a kid,” he said.
Contact Bobby Harrison at (601) 353-3119 or bobby.harrison@djournal.com.

Bobby Harrison/NEMS Daily Journal