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Mississippi: Two GOP State Senators Eye 1st District Race

Ever since Rep. Travis Childers (D) won a stunning special election victory in the 1st district in May 2008, Republicans have been itching to win back this conservative district previously held for seven terms by now-Sen. Roger Wicker (R).

Southaven Mayor Greg Davis (R), who lost to Childers in both the special election and in the November general election rematch, said last week that he has no interest in challenging Childers again in 2010. And now Magnolia State Republican insiders have turned their attention to GOP state Sens. Alan Nunnelee and Merle Flowers.

Nunnelee, who chairs the state Senate Appropriations Committee, acknowledged his interest in the 1st district race on Monday but said he probably won’t make a decision on a Congressional bid until after the state budgeting process is complete.

Nunnelee said his biggest concern with Childers is the Congressman’s ties to the more liberal leaders of his party. And while Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is currently “giving [Childers] free reign on the tough votes … anytime she needs his vote it will be there.—

Flowers expressed similar concerns with Childers but said it is too early to talk about whether he’d challenge the Congressman in 2010. Nunnelee said that considering the close relationship that he and Flowers have, “I can’t see any scenario where Merle and I would run against each other— in a GOP primary.

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