Thompson war chest at $1.7M

Published 11:42 am Thursday, April 21, 2011

JACKSON — The latest finance reports show Democrat Bennie Thompson is Mississippi’s only U.S. House member with more than $1 million in his campaign fund.

He’s also the only congressman in this state with an opponent who’s already announced intentions to run in 2012. Two-term Greenville Mayor Heather McTeer said last week she plans to challenge Thompson in next year’s Democratic primary.

“I take every candidate seriously,” Thompson told the AP this week. “I will not treat her formal candidacy any differently.”

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McTeer is recently divorced and said she’s changing her name from Heather McTeer Hudson back to Heather McTeer. She told the AP last week she’s running for Congress because she wants to improve economic conditions in the 2nd District, long one of the poorest parts of the country.

“I think that the people of this district deserve the opportunity to make good, adequate and fair choices about the direction of their community,” said McTeer, an attorney. “I have the energy and the vision to help to seek change on the ground.”

Thompson, of Bolton, had $1.7 million in his campaign fund as of March 31, said the latest campaign finance reports. He has been in Congress since 1993. He’s the ranking Democrat on the House Homeland Security Committee.

The Federal Election Commission website lists McTeer as a Democratic challenger in the district, but showed no campaign finance report.

The FEC site shows that in north Mississippi’s 1st District, Republican Alan Nunnelee of Tupelo had $156,718 at the end of the first quarter.

In the southern 4th District, Republican Steven Palazzo of Biloxi had $156,205.

In the central 3rd District, Republican Gregg Harper of Pearl had $6,580. Harper was first elected in 2008. The seat was open because Republican incumbent Chip Pickering chose not to seek re-election after 12 years in office.

Nunnelee and Palazzo defeated Democratic incumbents this past November.

Republican U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker of Tupelo is expected to seek re-election in 2012. The FEC site on Wednesday did not show a new campaign finance report from Wicker.