Pickering Leaving Congress?

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Congressman Chip Pickering is considering leaving congress for a job in the telecommunications industry.

Newscenter 11 attempted to contact cong. Pickering Wednesday but was told he was deep in thought and could not talk to anyone.

Later, a news release confirmed the job possibility was under consideration, but said Pickering and his family had not made a decision.

Reaction in meridian included a statement from Lamar McDonald, chairman of the navy meridian team, which has worked to preserve NAS. Meridian for over a decade.

"It would be a blow. Chip Pickering is and has been very vital to our effort. He's always been cooperative and active in helping us," said McDonald. "I would hate to see that happen, but I want what's best for him also.

"Chip has cared about NAS Meridian, the city of Meridian, and our development since he was a staffer for Sen. Trent Lott," said Mayor John Robert Smith of Meridian. "That didn't change when he became our congressman. He has been involved in everything good that's happened here in Meridian and Lauderdale County. He is a tremendous valuable asset."

"I don't want to see him do it, but that's a personal choice and we'll have to accept that if that happens. But I'm not looking forward to him doing that. I would encourage him to keep doing what he's doing," said Lauderdale County supervisor Jimmie Smith.

Pickering has served as congressman for Mississippi's third district since 1997.

According to Mississippi law, if a vacancy is created in Congress, a special election would be ordered by the governor to fill it.

The special election would take place sixty days after the office is vacated.