THURSDAY, JAN. 11, 2007

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Williamson: Dems will win Senate seat

JACKSON (Thursday, Jan. 11, 2007) – The chairwoman of the Senate Democratic Party Caucus said today that a Democrat will likely win the Senate District 43 seat this fall that is now held by James Shannon Walley.

State Sen. Gloria Williamson, D-Philadelphia, said the district – which includes parts of George, Greene, Stone and Wayne counties – historically has been Democrat.

“This district is made up of hard-working people who support Democratic issues such as strong public schools, a higher minimum wage, strong health care, lower grocery taxes and Medicaid,” Williamson said. “A Democrat will win this seat on these issues.”

Walley, who won the seat in 2003 while running as a Democrat, has qualified to run for re-election as a Republican. At least two Democrats, Robert “Bobby” Hendry and Jerry W. Hutto, already have qualified to run for the seat.

Democrats now find themselves holding the same number of Senate seats as Republicans: 26. But Williamson said that likely won’t create any problems this year because Walley has tended to align himself with Republicans on many votes.

Keelan Sanders, executive director of the Mississippi Democratic Party, said it was a shame that Walley mislead voters by siding with Republicans and then filed to run for re-election as a member of the GOP.

“But come November, the voters will elect a genuine Democrat,” Sanders said.

The Democratic Party in Mississippi continues to be in a position to gain seats in the Legislature this fall, Williamson said, because members support issues and proposals that benefit all people in the state – not a select few.

“While losing a member to the Republican Party may seem disappointing, this gives a strong, energetic Democrat a chance to take the spotlight and the victory in November in Senate District 43,” Williamson said.

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