October 20, 2010 10:13:00 AM
JACKSON - U.S. House Republican leader John Boehner will campaign for congressional candidate Alan Nunnelee in northern Mississippi on Thursday, signaling the GOP''s intense effort to win back a seat it lost in 2008.
Boehner and U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi will join Nunnelee at 11:30 a.m. at a Republican campaign office Southaven.
Nunnelee, of Tupelo, is challenging Democrat Travis Childers of Booneville, who has held Mississippi''s 1st District seat since a May 2008 special election. Childers won a full, two-year term that November.
Republicans have targeted Childers as a potentially vulnerable Democrat this year, and both major national parties are pouring money into the district.
Former President Bill Clinton campaigned at the University of Mississippi last week for Childers.
In campaign appearances and TV ads, Nunnelee says it''s a mistake for Childers to be aligned with Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California.
"Join me in taking back our country. This is not a campaign of a man for an office. This is a crusade to save America," Nunnelee said during a debate at Ole Miss last week.
Childers is a fiscally conservative Blue Dog Democrat who often votes against his own party''s leadership on issues such as the massive health care overhaul that became law earlier this year.
Childers is not saying who he''ll support for House speaker, only that he''d like somebody "more conservative" than Pelosi. He said in an interview last week that Boehner "stirs up divisiveness" in Washington.
"To work across the aisle, you have to have somebody who''s willing. I can''t shake hands with you if you don''t offer your hand. Neither side is offering that right now," Childers said.
Boehner, of Ohio, is campaigning for several Republican candidates across the nation leading into the Nov. 2 election. In a news release Wednesday from the Nunnelee campaign, Boehner said Republicans "have the chance to stop the jobs-killing agenda being rammed through Congress" by Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and President Barack Obama.
"But we need to elect conservative Republicans like Alan Nunnelee if we want to make it happen," Boehner said.
Mississippi''s 1st District encompasses all of 22 counties and parts of two others on the northern end of the state. It stretches from the Memphis, Tenn., suburbs of DeSoto County - where Boehner will appear - down to Columbus, near the Alabama state line.
It''s an area where many Democrats still hold local and county offices, but Republican John McCain carried the district in the 2008 presidential race.
Wicker won the 1st District seat in November 1994. Before that, the area was represented for 53 years by Democrat Jamie Whitten, who chaired the powerful Appropriations Committee in the final years of his career.
Seven other candidates will be on the 1st District ballot in November. They are independents A.G. Baddley of Hernando, Rick "Rico" Hoskins of Batesville, Les Green of Hernando and Wally Pang of Batesville; the Constitution Party''s Gail Giaramita of Lake Cormorant; Libertarian Harold Taylor of Hernando; and the Reform Party''s Barbara Dale Washer of Hattiesburg.
hope commented at 10/20/2010 9:57:00 PM:
Boehner says the Republicans have the chance to stop the job-killing agenda being rammed through congress by Pelosi, Reid, and President Obama. Boehner didn't stop the jobs-killing agenda that he and Bush cooked up over eight years, so why should we believe him now? They accounted for over 9 million jobs being lost. That's a depression record. And 9 million jobs lost is a "CONSERVATIVE" estimate.
1. Possible human remains found COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY
3. Business brief: Smith honored BUSINESS
5. Business brief: Rigdon hired BUSINESS