November 09, 2010

Mississippi's new Delegation

With a small congressional delegation, Mississippi has long relied on members with seniority to bring home federal money.

Political scientist Marty Wiseman said the state finds itself on different footing after Tuesday's midterm election in which two of the four U.S. House members were defeated.

The incoming congressmen, Alan Nunnelee and Steven Palazzo, go to Washington with zero seniority, like every other freshman. But as Republicans, they'll be in the House majority.

Palazzo defeated Democrat Gene Taylor, who's been in office 21 years. Taylor chairs an Armed Services subcommittee and has helped secure federal contracts for shipbuilding.

Nunnelee defeated Democrat Travis Childers, who's been in Congress since May 2008.

Republican Rep. Gregg Harper held onto his seat on Tuesday by defeating Democrat Joel Gill in the 3rd Congressional District. Now the senior House member in the state, Harper acknowledged that reducing spending, as Republicans promise, could mean less money for Mississippi projects. Harper admitted that his relationship with soon-to-be House Speaker John Boehner could help state-supported university projects like the Cancer Park at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.

"It is going to help by way of committee assignments, which help in getting our legislation through on things, that hopefully, will be beneficial to the country," Harper said.

Democrat Rep. Bennie Thompson won another term by defeating Republican Bill Marcy in the 2nd District. But because of the shift in power, Thompson will be forced to step down as chairman of the Homeland Security Committee.

"I will still be involved but I will be the ranking Democrat and not chairman," Thompson said.

Economist Dr. Bill Penn said if there is an impact on the economy, it may be in the perception of a troubled economy.

Take a few moments and watch the dad is towards the end!

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