A longshot potential candidate seems to be inching toward running in the Republican primary. Madison Mayor Mary Hawkins Butler has been testing South Mississippi for support should she decide to run for state auditor.
It's a place where the average voter probably has at best a vague recollection of her but where Auditor Stacey Pickering still has some explaining to do about his handling of the DMR affair. He ended up in hot water down here with a chancery judge holding him in contempt after the Sun Herald took him to court in a public records case.
Her name has been coming up for months. In October, she told the Clarion-Ledger "never say never." Yesterday, she told the Sun Herald, "I love Madison," but didn't deny she was considering a run.
She's got overwhelming support in that city north of Jackson where she's serving her ninth term as mayor. I haven't been through Madison in a couple years but it always seem so clean I felt like stopping to wipe my tires before entering the city limits.
So she has that going for her. Seriously, it'd be hard to call Madison anything but a success.
On the other hand, Pickering probably isn't as popular as he once was around Jones County, where he lives in Laurel, after choosing sides against state Sen. Chris McDaniel, who lives in Ellisville, in the brutal U.S. Senate primary against Sen. Thad Cochran. And McDaniel isn't going away quietly. He accused Pickering of spreading nasty rumors about McDaniel's private life (A charge Pickering denies) and just a day ago was urging South Mississippi congressman Steven Palazzo and others to vote against U.S. House Speaker John Boehner.
Anyone like a dark horse?