Monday open thread

Got a busy morning ahead of me, but hope to be back to blogging sometime after lunch.

The big news today is the expected retirement announcement of Senate Minority Whip Trent Lott. Lott could make the official statement as early as today. Josh Kraushaar at the Politico’s Crypt blog has the details:

If he resigns, Lott would become the sixth Republican senator to announce they were stepping down this election cycle. His term expires in 2012; and a resignation would prompt a special election to fill the remainder of his term. Gov. Haley Barbour (R-Miss.) would be tasked with appointing a replacement for Lott to serve before the special election is held.

In 2006, Lott was re-elected with 64 percent of the vote.

Rep. Chip Pickering (R-Miss.), who announced his retirement from the House earlier this year, would be a leading candidate for the Senate seat in the special election. Another possible GOP contender for the seat would be Rep. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.)

On the Democratic side, former Mississippi Attorney General Mike Moore has been mentioned as a strong statewide candidate in an otherwise heavily Republican state.

The resignation will be effective the end of the year.

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