Wicker, Musgrove Senate Race Neck and Neck - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Jackson 07/07/08

Wicker, Musgrove Senate Race Neck and Neck

By Jon Kalahar
jkalahar@wlbt.net

The election to replace long standing Mississippi Senator Trent Lott is expected to go right down to the wire.

Both Senator Roger Wicker and his challenger, former Governor Ronnie Musgrove were in Jackson today. We spoke with both as they prepare for the November election.

And  it could come down to factors beyond their control.

Between working as Mississippi's junior senator  and campaigning across the state, Roger Wicker doesn't sit down for long. Wicker made this stop to field questions from the capitol press corps.

"I'm running on a record of bi-partisan accomplishment in the areas of economic development, bringing in new companies to create jobs," said Wicker.

He says increasing oil production in this country is important to fixing the economy.  Whether it's drilling in Alaska or in new offshore areas, Wicker says we must look to the future.

"When President Clinton vetoed Anwar in 1995, he said it wouldn't have an effect until ten years. Well, ten years has come and gone and we could use that crude oil now," said Wicker.

Former Governor Ronnie Musgrove says after thirteen years in Washington, Wicker has lost touch with Mississippians.

"They want someone who is fiscally responsible, who is social conservative and certainly I am both," said Musgrove.

Musgrove says someone has got to control spending in Washington.

"They're wanting to get control of the spending, focus the spending on the areas that really matter and get the economy moving again," said Musgrove.

But, with Wicker and Musgrove neck and neck, the election could hinge on each party's presidential candidate's ability to win the state in what is expected to be one of the largest voter turnouts in Mississippi history.

"I'm kind of appreciative of that because it keeps me motivated and keeps my volunteers motivated," said Wicker.

"People are tired of political rhetoric they want some real solutions, they want Washington to work again," said Musgrove.

So far no debates between Wicker and Musgrove have been set. Wicker says he believes there will be debates at some point.

Musgrove asked Wicker to debate him at the Neshoba County Fair, but that offer was turned down.

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