October 23, 2012 10:30:27 AM
Sarah Fowler - [email protected]
Republican Sen. Roger Wicker is vying for another term as a United States Senator for the state of Mississippi.
Wicker, 61, a long-time state legislator, first arrived in the U.S. Senate when he was appointed to fill Trent Lott's vacated seat in 2007. In 2008, Wicker defeated former governor Ronnie Musgrove in a special election to complete Lott's term.
Wicker will face Democrat Albert N. Gore and a pair of other candidates in his bid to win his first full term.
Wicker currently serves as the deputy whip and also serves on multiple committees. He is a member of the Armed Services Committee; the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee; the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee; and the Veterans Affairs Committee.
Born in Pontotoc, Wicker earned his undergraduate and Law School degrees at the University of Mississippi.
The senator served as an active duty member of the U.S. Air Force. He retired from the Air Force reserves as a lieutenant colonel in 2004.
Married with three children, Wicker resides in Tupelo when not serving in Washington.
Democrat opponent Albert N. Gore, 82, was a state delegate at the 2012 Democratic National Convention.
A resident of Starkville, Gore is retired as a highly-decorated retired colonel from the Green Berets, or the Special Forces Unit in the U.S. Army, where he received both a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star.
He served as a paratrooper in the Vietnam War.
A retired Methodist minister, Gore has served as the executive chair of the Oktibbeha County Democratic Party. He is a distant cousin of former Vice President Al Gore of Tennessee.
Dr. Martin Wiseman, director of The Stennis Institute at Mississippi State University, said Wicker shouldn't be seriously challenged.
"That is virtually a non-race," Wiseman said, adding that with Mississippians expected to support Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, Wicker should carry the vote with a coat-tail effect.
"(Gore is) by no means a threat at all to Wicker, particularly with Romney on the ballot," Wiseman said. "Wicker is fairly popular in his own right. Wicker doesn't really need (coat-tails). He's pretty well-entrenched. He should win easily."
Thomas Cramer of the Constitution Party and Shawn O'Hara of the Reform party are also on the Nov. 6 ballot.
Sarah Fowler covered crime, education and community related events for The Dispatch.