Hood says he won’t appeal Senate election ruling

Published 4:58 pm Friday, February 8, 2008

Attorney General Jim Hood said Thursday that he will not appeal a Mississippi Supreme Court decision that an election to fill Trent Lott’s former Senate seat will coincide with the general election in November.

Republican Gov. Haley Barbour had set the special election for Nov. 4, but Hood, a Democrat, challenged the date in a lawsuit. Hood argued — and a circuit judge agreed — that state law requires the special election to be held within 90 days from Dec. 20, when the governor issued a proclamation announcing the vacancy.

That would be in March, but the law also notes an exception if the vacancy occurs during a year when “there shall be held a general state or congressional election.”

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Hood noted that there were strong dissenting opinions in the 7-2 vote, but he doesn’t intend to appeal.

“I will certainly follow the decision of our Supreme Court,” Hood said.

Lott resigned in December and the seat is not up for re-election until 2012. Republican Roger Wicker was chosen to temporarily hold the seat until the special election, and the ruling gives him more time to establish an incumbency.

He is the only Republican running; the Democrats are former Gov. Ronnie Musgrove and former U.S. Rep. Ronnie Shows.