State Democrats say North Carolina's John Edwards brings geographic balance to the party's presidential ticket. Kerry is from Massachusetts.
Longtime Democrat John Marszalek of Starkville, professor emeritus of history at Mississippi State University, said Edwards is a strong campaigner who appeals to people across party lines.
Brown Miller of Hattiesburg, a member of the state Democratic executive committee, said Edwards brings enthusiasm and energy.
But Mississippi Republican chairman Jim Herring said Edwards led Senate opposition to President Bush's nomination of Judge Charles Pickering to the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
"Democrats blocked Judge Pickering because he is a pro-life, pro-family conservative," said Herring. "John Edwards led the charge to further his presidential ambitions by selling out to liberal extremist groups."