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Tuesday Republican runoff key vote for future of area

Early year election work is not over for Lincoln Countians andothers in the Third Congressional District.

On Tuesday, voters will return to the polls for a runoff todecide the Republican party’s nominee for the post currently heldby U.S. Rep. Chip Pickering. Pickering is not seeking re-electionthis year.

On Tuesday’s ballot will be former state Sen. Charlie Ross andformer Rankin County GOP Chairman Gregg Harper. Ross led theseven-candidate field on March 11 while Harper qualified for therunoff by waging a strong grassroots campaign and capitalizing onword of mouth through an active network of church associations.

Ross is perceived to have an edge from a legislative experiencestandpoint while Harper offers a personal style that has endearedhim to many people he has met on the campaign trail.

One important note about Tuesday is that those who voted in theDemocratic primary on March 11 are not eligible to participate theday after tomorrow. Only those who voted in the GOP primary thefirst time, or those who did not vote at all three weeks ago, mayvote Tuesday.

Tuesday’s winner will face Democrat Joel Gill in the Novembergeneral election. While Gill is sure to run a good campaign, theThird District has a Republican lean to it.

Given that fact, voters could be deciding the area’s nextcongressman Tuesday. For that reason, it is imperative that votersmake their voice heard this time.