Mississippi: Democratic former Governor Ronnie Musgrove is in the 2008 Senate race for the seat from which Trent Lott resigned. He will apparently hold a series of announcement events on Monday.
This is shaping up to be Musgrove vs. Roger Wicker. One poll saw Wicker leading Musgrove 47-39 and another poll saw Musgrove leading Wicker 48-34. In other words, this will be a close, competitive race. Mississippi blogger Will Bardwell highlights five issues that can beat Wicker: SCHIP, Big Oil, Iraq, the minimum wage, and college loans. I'd add that Wicker's ethical questions surrounding his cozy relationship with the Aurora Corporation could be potent, as well. Fun fact: "Musgrove and Wicker are longtime friends and shared an apartment in Jackson when they served together in the state Senate."
But wait! A single Associated Press report is just breaking that Democratic former Congressman Ronnie Shows will also run for the Senate seat! I'll keep an eye out for more stories. If true, expect polling in the coming weeks to determine which Democratic Ronnie, Musgrove or Shows, matches up more strongly against Wicker.
Louisiana: It looks like GOP Rep. Richard Baker is very likely to retire from the House at the end of this term to head the hedge-fund industry's trade association. Should this occur, he would join fellow Louisiana House Republican Jim McCrery in retirement. Couple this with Bobby Jindal's departure from the House to the Governor's office, and there are two clear reasons why this helps Senator Mary Landrieu's 2008 Senate re-election bid. First, it simply means more work to do for the LA-GOP and more races that they thought they could take for granted that make now see competition and require a division of limited resources (resources that could have been solely focused on the Senate race). Second, with all the impending House rookies coming from Louisiana this November, as SSP's James notes, "that might even help Sen. Mary Landrieu by making her seniority seem all the more crucial."
Oregon: Following yesterday's announcement that the electrical workers' union has backed Speaker Jeff Merkley candidacy for Senate in 2008, the Oregon chapter of the American Federation of Teachers has followed suit. They also join such other prominent unions as the Oregon AFL-CIO and Oregon AFSCME Council 75 in backing Merkley.
Kudos to the New Hampshire Republican Party for not accepting Fox News as its Propagandist-in-Chief.