Chip Pickering

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"Charles Willis Pickering" redirects here. For this former Congressman's father, see Charles W. Pickering.
Chip Pickering
Chip Pickering, official 109th Congress photo.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Mississippi's 3rd district
In office
January 3, 1997 – January 3, 2009
Preceded by Sonny Montgomery
Succeeded by Gregg Harper
Personal details
Born Charles Willis Pickering, Jr.
(1963-08-10) August 10, 1963 (age 53)
Laurel, Mississippi
Political party Republican
Children Will, Ross, Jackson, Asher, & Harper
Residence Jackson, Mississippi
Alma mater University of Mississippi, Baylor University
Occupation politician
Religion Southern Baptist

Charles Willis "Chip" Pickering, Jr. (born August 10, 1963) is a politician in the U.S. state of Mississippi. He represented Mississippi's 3rd congressional district as a Republican in the United States House of Representatives. First elected in 1996, he chose not to run again in 2008. He is currently the CEO at Incompas.[1]

Early life[edit]

Pickering was born in Laurel, Mississippi. His father is Judge Charles Pickering, Sr., a Mississippi lawyer, former municipal judge, retired Federal judge, and prominent Republican politician. He graduated from the University of Mississippi where he was a legacy member of the Eta Chapter of Sigma Chi. He went on to receive a Master's degree from Baylor University in 1989.[2][3]

Early political career[edit]

Pickering served as a Southern Baptist missionary to Hungary, after the end of Hungarian government persecution of religious believers. In 1989, President George H. W. Bush appointed Pickering as a Department of Agriculture liaison to the former European Communist countries.

From 1992 to 1996, Pickering served on the staff of Senator Trent Lott.[3] Pickering helped shape the Telecommunications Act of 1996, the first major overhaul of US telecoms law since 1934.[4] After a year at the Senate Commerce Committee, Pickering ran for Congress.[5]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

Committee assignments[edit]

  • Energy and Commerce Committee
    • Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection Subcommittee
    • Energy and Air Quality Subcommittee
    • Telecommunications & the Internet Subcommittee


Pickering returned to Mississippi to run as the Republican candidate for the 3rd District and won by a wide margin.

Questions were raised by political opponents about whether Pickering was a legal resident of Mississippi and lawfully qualified to run for the office. He claimed his farm in Madison County as his official residence, but his permanent residence was in the Washington area.

Pickering was unopposed for reelection in 1998 and defeated Democratic opposition in 2000. He was reelected five times. He only faced substantive opposition in 2002.


Pickering had a strongly conservative voting record. From 2003 to 2007, he served as vice-chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee.

In mid-August 2007, Pickering announced that he would not seek re-election in 2008, citing the desire to spend more time with his family.[6][7] Pickering was considered a top Republican contender for U.S. Senator Trent Lott's seat if Lott had retired in 2006. In 2007, he was said to be waiting to see if Senator Thad Cochran would retire in 2008; it is widely speculated that Pickering's decision to leave Congress was based on Cochran's decision to run for re-election.[8]

When Lott announced his resignation as Senator in November 2007, Pickering was rumored to be Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour's choice to replace him. However, in December of that year, Pickering announced that he was not interested in the post;[9] fellow Republican Congressman Roger Wicker of Mississippi's 1st congressional district was appointed to Lott's seat. Pickering retired from the House in January 2009 and is currently a lobbyist for Cellular South.

Criminal activity[edit]

On December 7, 2009, Pickering was involved in a fight with the coach of a youth soccer team that coached against his son's team, and was charged with simple assault.[10] He was later sued by the coach he assaulted a year later in December 2010.[11]

Personal life[edit]

Pickering and his ex-wife, Leisha, have five sons, Will, Ross, Jackson, Asher, and Harper. On July 16, 2009, it was announced that Leisha had filed an alienation of affection lawsuit against Elizabeth Creekmore Byrd, a woman with whom Pickering allegedly had an affair.[12]

Pickering is the cousin of state auditor, Stacey Pickering.

Film career[edit]

Pickering appeared in the film Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. In the film, he briefly appears at a lively Pentecostal meeting where spoken views against the theory of evolution are cheered by the congregation.[13]


  1. ^ "Chip Pickering". Retrieved 2016-02-26. 
  2. ^ "Chip Pickering Articles - Political Columnist & Commentator". Retrieved 2016-02-26. 
  3. ^ a b "110th Congress" (PDF). 
  4. ^ Stennis Center, Chip Pickering profile, accessed 1 August 2009
  5. ^ "Charles "Chip" Pickering Jr., former Representative for Mississippi's 3rd Congressional District -". Retrieved 2016-02-26. 
  6. ^ "Editorial". The Clarion-Ledger. August 18, 2007. 
  7. ^ Pickering Announces Retirement, Roll Call, August 16, 2007.
  8. ^ Dead link to Clarion-Ledger web site
  9. ^ Mark, David (December 28, 2007). "Pickering Removes Himself From Senate Consideration". CBS News. Retrieved 2008-05-18. 
  10. ^ "Ex-Mississippi congressman accused of fighting youth soccer coach seeks resolution". Associated Press. December 9, 2009. Retrieved May 16, 2015. 
  11. ^ "Chip Pickering Sued over Soccer Fight". Associated Press. December 6, 2010. Retrieved May 16, 2015. 
  12. ^ "Ex-Miss. politician's wife sues alleged mistress". Clarion Ledger. July 16, 2009. , Archived: at WebCite
  13. ^

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Sonny Montgomery
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Mississippi's 3rd congressional district

January 3, 1997 – January 3, 2009
Succeeded by
Gregg Harper