President Bush Coming To Mississippi August 7th

President Bush will be in the Jackson area August 7th to campaign for Republican U.S. Rep. Chip Pickering, the congressman said Friday.

Bush will appear at a $1,000-a-ticket fund-raising event and make a public appearance, Pickering campaign manager Henry Barbour said Friday. He said because of security, details on the time or place of the events would be released later.

Pickering faces Democratic U.S. Rep. Ronnie Shows in central Mississippi's newly drawn 3rd District. The state's two junior congressmen were tossed together after Mississippi lost one of its five U.S. House seats because of slow population growth in the 1990s.

In a prepared statement, Pickering said he appreciates the help of Bush, who carried Mississippi in the 2000 election. This will be his first stop in the state as president.

"He's coming to campaign for me because he and I work well together and because he realizes this campaign in Mississippi could decide whether we will have conservative or liberal leadership in Congress,'' Pickering said. "The president realizes, as do Mississippians, that it does matter who leads Congress.''

The Shows-Pickering campaign could help determine whether Republicans maintain their slim majority in the U.S. House or Democrats take over. Shows campaign spokesman Troy Colbert said the president is always welcome in the state.

"While we're pleased the president is taking time out of his busy schedule to come to Mississippi, it's unfortunate that he's going to come down to raise money,'' Colbert said.

"I think that it would be great if he could spend some time out in the district meeting with folks who have lost their jobs and are really worried about the economy or senior citizens who are worried about Social Security and prescription drugs. Ultimately, that's what this race is really going to come down to is issues like that, kitchen table issues,'' he said.