Pickering returns Congressional office to Lincoln County

Published 6:00 am Thursday, December 5, 2002

A congressional field office is coming back to Brookhaven.

Officials said Republican Third District U.S. Rep. ChipPickering plans to locate a field office here when Congress beginsa new term in January. The office will be at the Brookhaven-LincolnCounty Chamber of Commerce in the area once used by U.S. Rep. MikeParker’s staff before he left Congress at the end of 1998.

“We wanted to get a central location for that part of thedistrict,” said Stanley Shows, district director for Pickering. “Wefelt like that would be a good place.”

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In addition to Brookhaven, Pickering will have field offices inPearl, Meridian and Starkville. The Starkville office will replaceone that is currently at the Golden Triangle airport in LowndesCounty, which is no longer in Pickering’s district.

“We’re also considering locating an office in Natchez,” Showssaid.

Shows said a full-time staff member will be in the Brookhavenoffice. He said the staffer may not be in the office immediatelyafter it opens but would be shortly thereafter.

A decision on who will work in the office has not been made,Shows said. He indicated the staff member would be able to handle avariety of constituents’ concerns.

“If they can’t help them or don’t have the answer, they’ll beable to refer them to the proper place or get someone to call (theconstituent) back,” Shows said.

Lincoln County became part of Pickering’s district followingcongressional redistricting to redraw lines for four districtsinstead of five. According to the 2000 census, Mississippi’spopulation did not grow fast enough to keep five congressmen.

In November, Pickering defeated incumbent Fourth District Rep.Ronnie Shows in the race to represent the state’s new ThirdDistrict. The Democrat Shows has a field office in McComb.

In southwest Mississippi, Pickering carried Lincoln, Franklinand Amite counties during last month’s election.

Pointing out that Pickering got more than 60 percent of the votein Lincoln County, county Republican Executive Committee ChairmanChuck Nelms was proud to see the field office locate inBrookhaven.

“If you’ve got a problem, you can walk down to the chamberoffice to find out what’s going on,” Nelms said.

Chandler Russ, chamber of commerce executive vice-president,said chamber officials are ready to welcome their new neighbor.

“We’re real proud that Congressman Pickering has decided toreturn a field office to Brookhaven and Lincoln County to servesouthwest Mississippi,” Russ said.

The area is to be used for the field office is currently used bythe Brookhaven Trust. Russ said the Trust’s activities would berelocated upstairs at the chamber building.

“We’re looking forward to the field office being here and proudthat it’s happening,” Russ said.