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Free Citizen

This writer espouses individual liberty, free markets, and limited government.

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Location: Jackson, Mississippi, United States

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

A View From North of the Border

The Memphis Commercial Appeal today editorializes about the great importance of Mississippi having a special election for Sen. Trent Lott's seat much sooner than next November.

"The scenario works out nicely for Barbour's Republican Party. But it also muzzles Mississippi voters who would prefer to voice their decision sooner rather than later about who they want to represent them in the Senate next year."

[... .]

"Whether [Lott's] announcement was timed to delay the special election or not, Barbour's decision to put it off until next November ultimately violates the spirit of Mississippi election law, however. The law is intended to give voters a chance to fill the vacancy without a year-long delay."

It's routine in many states for the governor to appoint someone to fill a Senate vacancy until the next regular congressional election. A recent instance of this came right there in Tennessee, where Algore was re-elected to a six-year Senate term in 1990. He resigned the Senate seat after his election as vice president in 1992, and Gov. Ned Ray McWherter, a Democrat, named a "caretaker" senator to serve until November 1994, when Fred Thompson was elected to serve the remaining two years. (Thompson, of course, was elected to a full six-year term in 1996.)

It would be interesting to know whether the Commercial Appeal was critical of that process.

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