Campaigning Slows For Ailing Parents

Campaigning in Mississippi's new 3rd Congressional District has slowed down while candidates help care for their ailing parents.

Margaret Ann Pickering, 63, the mother of Republican U.S. Rep. Chip Pickering, is scheduled to undergo open heart surgery Wednesday at an undisclosed hospital in Mississippi. Chip Pickering's campaign manager, Henry Barbour, said Margaret Ann Pickering suffered a mild heart attack Saturday at the family home in Jones County.

"She had no permanent damage from that,'' Barbour said.

Clifford Shows, 77, the father of Democratic U.S. Rep. Ronnie Shows, remained Tuesday in the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Jackson. The elder Shows had been in the hospital for more than a week.

Ronnie Shows' campaign spokesman Troy Colbert said Clifford Shows underwent surgery Friday to patch a leaking artery in a lung. Clifford Shows also suffered a heart attack in recent days, Colbert said.

Ronnie Shows and Chip Pickering, the two junior members of Mississippi's congressional delegation, were thrown together in a new district after sluggish population growth cost the state one of its five House seats. The general election is Nov. 5.