Miss. Senate: Another Run for Lott
Mississippi Sen. Trent Lott (R) today announced he will seek a fourth term in the Senate, ending years of speculation about his political future.
"I have chosen Mississippi and America once again," said Lott at a noon ET press conference in his hometown of Pascagoula. Lott will make a similar announcement in Jackson at 2 p.m. ET and will hold a news conference on Capitol Hill tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. ET.
The rumors surrounding a potential retirement by Lott began in earnest following his forced resignation as Senate majority leader in late 2002. His decision to run takes a potentially competitive seat off the table for Democrats, slimming their chances of returning to the majority after the November election.
An open seat would likely have drawn former Mississippi Attorney General Mike Moore into the contest, a man widely seen by operatives in both parties as the lone Democrat who could win a statewide federal election in Mississippi. With Lott seeking a fourth term, it's unlikely Democrats can seriously contest the seat; Lott won reelection in 2000 with 66 percent of the vote.
Only one Republican -- Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (Tenn.) -- is not seeking reelection in November. And some observers expect Lott to run again for the majority leadership next year, though that could set up an internal fight with Frist's current no. 2, Kentucky's Mitch McConnell.
Two Democrats -- Sens. Mark Dayton (Minn.) and Paul Sarbanes (Md.) -- are leaving the chamber after this year, as is Jim Jeffords, the Vermont independent who caucuses with Democrats.
No other senators up in 2006 are actively considering retirement, but there always tends to be a surprise or two in an election year.
January 17, 2006; 12:14 PM ET
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