As he walked around the Lake Serene Grocery, lunch customers received a political handout. It came from a man whose last name is synonymous with a Mississippi politician, a man with Washington D.C. aspirations.
"My name is Mike Lott," the candidate told a customer, "and I'm running for United States Congress."
Mike Lott would like to fill a seat on Capitol Hill that Trent Lott once occupied.
"Trent and I aren't related," the congressional candidate told another customer. "We're from two different family lines."
But they both belong to the same political party.
"I'm the republican candidate in this area," he proudly said.
The 48 year old isn't a stranger to political campaigns. He successfully pounded the pavement and won state house elections in 1999 and 2003. Now Lott is after Gene Taylor's seat in Washington.
"I just want to go up there and represent the common, everyday working fellow," he said.
The lunch stop is typical of how Lott has run his campaign. He doesn't have much of an advertising budget. So the congressional candidate goes around the district, shaking hands with as many south Mississippians as he can. And he tells them all, "I need your help."
Lott wants the fourth congressional district to know "I'm from a simple background, simple upbringings in a small, little town. And my parents taught me to work hard and they taught me some strong Christian values."
Lott has been married for 26 years. He's the father of two, a Petal resident, and a former school teacher. And he's trying to unlock a door that republicans haven't opened in 15 years.
"We've got momentum going in our direction," he said, referring to his grassroots campaign. "And we strongly feel that. We've got people who understand the real reason I'm running, and that's just to represent them."
Lott's platform makes homeland security a priority. It encourages tax cuts to foster economic development. It pushes for the elimination of wasteful spending. And it touts job creation that will be vital to south Mississippi's future.
Thursday night at 10 on WLOX News, the incumbent democrat Gene Taylor will be profiled.