At least one other Republican candidate has entered the special election for the 62nd District State House race created by the sudden resignation last week of Rep. Curt Cobb to take a position in the Bedford County court system.
Bobby Scott informed the Times-Gazette in an e-mail Sunday that he intends to seek the seat as well. Scott, pastor of Gateway Church in Shelbyville, said he had committed to work at a youth camp this week but would pick up his qualifying paperwork on Thursday. He said he has been in contact with the Republican caucus chair in the House and is putting together a campaign team.
"We're starting the process now. I'm talking to a few people," Scott said Monday.
Big G Express chairman Pat Marsh has announced his candidacy, and former Mississippi state senator Barbara Blanton, who unsuccessfully challenged Curt Cobb in 2008, confirmed Monday that she intends to run as well.
In the Democratic primary, Curt Cobb's brother Ty, an employee of United Parcel Service, plans to run and said Monday he would be turning in his qualifying papers either Monday or today.
Chris Brown, who ran unsuccessfully against Blanton in the Republican primary for the House seat in 2008 and who was the Republican nominee for Bedford County sheriff in 2006, has picked up qualifying papers for both party primaries and for running as an independent, according to Bedford County Administrator of Elections Summer Leverette. There's no rule prohibiting a candidate from picking up all three sets of paperwork, but Brown, if he files, would only be able to file one of them.
Leverette said Cobb, Marsh and Blanton had also picked up petitions in Bedford County.
Lincoln County Adminstrator of Elections Sheila Allen said about 2 p.m. Monday that only Cobb had picked up paperwork in Lincoln County. No one had picked up any papers in Rutherford County at 2 p.m. Monday. The 62nd District includes all of Bedford, part of Lincoln and Rutherford counties.
Party primaries for the seat will be held on Aug. 27, with the general election to be Oct. 13. Qualifying petitions must be turned in by noon July 16.
Curt Cobb shocked political observers statewide by resigning his State House seat to become Bedford County Clerk and Master, the court clerk serving Chancery Court. Chancellor J.B. Cox appointed Cobb to the seat.
Republicans hold a 50-49 margin in the State House, but the speaker, Kent Williams, was elected with Democratic support over the Republican caucus' chosen candidate. Williams still identifies himself as a "Carter County Republican" but has been rejected by his party's leadership for siding with the Democrats.
The narrow margin of power in the House makes the race a significant one and the fact that it will be a special election, held on its own in an off-cycle year, indicates that many of the state's political figures will be following it closely.
Chris Brown has picked up qualifying petitions for both party primaries and for running as an independent. If he decides to seek the seat, he can only file one set of paperwork.