2008 United States Senate special election in Mississippi
Wicker: 50–60% 60–70% 70–80%
Musgrove: 50–60% 60–70% 70–80% 80–90%
|Elections in Mississippi|
The 2008 United States Senate special election in Mississippi was held on November 4, 2008. This election was held on the same day of Thad Cochran's re-election bid in the United States Senate election in Mississippi, 2008. The winner of this special election served the rest of the Senate term, which ended in January 2013. Unlike most Senate elections, this was a non-partisan election in which the candidate who got a majority of the vote won, and if the first-place candidate did not get 50%, a runoff election with the top two candidates would have been held. In the election, no run-off was necessary as Republican nominee and incumbent Republican U.S. Senator Roger Wicker won election to finish the term.
Former Governor Ronnie Musgrove, former U.S. Representative and Secretary of Agriculture Mike Espy, former Jackson mayor Harvey Johnson, Jr., former Governor Ray Mabus, and former Mississippi Attorney General Mike Moore were all considered potential Democratic candidates,. Of the five, only Musgrove decided to run. Another Democrat, former congressman Ronnie Shows also decided to run, but withdrew on February 19, 2008 after determining that he could not raise enough funds to effectively campaign against Wicker and Musgrove. Shows gave his endorsement to Musgrove. There was a dispute about the date on which the special election should occur and whether the governor appointed the interim senator in keeping with state law.
Mississippi law states that Gov. Barbour had 10 days after receiving official notification of the vacancy to appoint an interim senator pending a special election. Barbour appointed Wicker on December 31, 2007, 13 days after Lott's resignation.
The state Democratic party objected to the timing of the special election. Barbour set the special election for November 4, 2008. Democrats claimed that he had 10 days to set a special election within 90 days (no later than March 29, 2008 ), and the issue went to court for resolution.
Mississippi Attorney General, Democrat Jim Hood, issued a non-binding opinion that the election must be held within 100 days of Lott's resignation. Hood said that Barbour would be breaking the law if he holds the special election in November 2008. Hood sued Barbour in court over the issue. Hood wanted the date of the special election to be March 11, the same day as Mississippi's presidential primary.
Governor Barbour claimed that the definition of "year" in the law in question is 365 days. Hinds County Circuit Court Judge Bobby DeLaughter ruled that the election must take place no later than March 19. On February 6, 2008, after Barbour appealed, the Mississippi Supreme Court reversed Judge Delaughter and ruled that the non-partisan special election may be held on November 4.
Note: Mississippi special elections are nonpartisan. Party labels are for informational purposes only.
- Roger Wicker, incumbent U.S. Senator
|Poll Source||Date(s) administered||Ronnie
|Rasmussen Reports||October 27, 2008||43%||54%|
|Rasmussen Reports||September 30, 2008||47%||49%|
|Rasmussen Reports||August 23, 2008||42%||47%|
|Rasmussen Reports||July 28, 2008||42%||48%|
|Rasmussen Reports||June 26, 2008||47%||48%|
|Rasmussen Reports||May 27, 2008||47%||46%|
|Nonpartisan||Roger Wicker (incumbent)||683,409||54.96%||-8.6%|
- Mississippi's 1st congressional district special election, 2008, an election to fill Roger Wicker's former U.S. House of Representatives seat.
- Roger Wicker official campaign website
- Ronnie Musgrove official campaign website
- The Real Roger Wicker site critical of Wicker by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee
- Musgrove Facts site critical of Musgrove by the National Republican Senatorial Committee
- Nossiter, Adam & Herszenhorn, David M. (November 26, 2007). "Mississippi's Lott to Leave Senate Seat". The New York Times.
- Congressional Quarterly, December 19, 2007 Archived July 21, 2009, at WebCite
- Wicker launches Senate campaign | clarionledger.com | The Clarion-Ledger
- "Wicker Launches Senate Campaign", The Clarion-Ledger, January 1, 2008
- Democrat Finally Jumps into Mississippi Senate Race Yahoo! News January 7, 2008
- Associated Press via The Hattiesburg American, January 5, 2008
- Shows out of Senate race for Lott's seat | clarionledger.com | The Clarion-Ledger
- Bloomberg: Wicker Named to Replace Mississippi's Lott in Senate
- Hattiesburg American: Barbour to name leader to fill Lott's seat
- http://www.clarionledger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071231/NEWS/712310319/1001/news Jackson Clarion-Ledger Senate Pick to be Unveiled Today
- FOX News: Trent Lott Resigns From U.S. Senate After Nearly Two Decades of Service
- "WLBT 3 – Jackson, MS: Hood Files Suit to Have Special Election Earlier". Archived from the original on January 4, 2008. Retrieved January 3, 2008.
- WLBT 3 – Jackson, MS: AG Challenges Timing of Senate Election
- The ClarionLedger: AG opinion backs Democrats on timing of election
- Judge: AG right in election date spat | clarionledger.com | The Clarion-Ledger
- "WLBT 3 – Jackson, MS: Barbour's Attorney Appeals Special-Elex Ruling". Archived from the original on December 6, 2008. Retrieved January 17, 2008.
- "Former governor Musgrove to run for U.S. Senate". Archived from the original on January 8, 2008. Retrieved January 7, 2008.
- "US Senate Special Election Official Certification" (PDF). Mississippi Secretary of State. Retrieved January 10, 2009.