Ex-Pickering Aide Has D.C. Event Scheduled

Posted October 19, 2007 at 12:43pm

John Rounsaville (R), a former staffer for retiring Rep. Chip Pickering (R) who is eyeing his former boss’s open 3rd district seat, will be in Washington, D.C., on Monday for a “meet and greet” reception on K Street.

Rounsaville, 32, is considered by state political insiders as an up-and-comer in Mississippi politics.

After leaving Pickering’s office in 2004, where he served as deputy chief of staff, Rounsaville worked as a policy adviser to Gov. Haley Barbour (R). In 2006, he was appointed as a Mississippi state director for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Rounsaville resigned his Department of Agriculture post last month in order to prepare for his campaign.

Though Pickering is not expected to attend the event, the host committee for Monday’s “meet and greet” reception includes John Keast, a former chief of staff for 1st district Rep. Roger Wicker (R) who now works at the Cornerstone Group and John Scofield, a former Republican spokesman for the House Appropriations Committee who now works at the Podesta Group.

Two other Washington, D.C., lobbyists on the event’s host committee are Marty Fuller and Loren Monroe. As part of his work for Federal Solutions, Fuller looks out for Mississippi State University’s lobbying interests while Monroe represents the University of Mississippi for Barbour Griffith & Rogers — a firm founded by the governor.

Other potential GOP candidates to replace Pickering in the 3rd district include state Sens. Charlie Ross (R) and Walter Michel (R), Rankin County GOP Chairman Gregg Harper (R), state Development Authority Deputy Director Whit Hughes (R) and state Treasurer Tate Reeves (R).

While the Republican primary winner likely will carry the heavily GOP district, ex-Rep. Ronnie Shows (D) could make the general election interesting if he decides to run.

— John McArdle