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Barbour ponders run for governor

By Staff
From staff and wire reports
Jan. 17, 2002
JACKSON Long-time Republican political operative Haley Barbour, one of Washington's best-connected lobbyists, is pondering a run for Mississippi governor in 2003.
Barbour, a Yazoo City native who served as White House political director in President Ronald Regan's second term and, later as chairman of the Republican National Committee, said he will make a decision by this fall.
He said to do make a decision sooner would be unfair to his family and other Republicans who might want to make the anticipated race against Democratic Gov. Ronnie Musgrove. Musgrove has not publicly said if he will seek a second term although many political observers expect him to.
I have been meeting with people, speaking to groups, traveling about the state,'' Barbour said in a telephone interview from his Washington D.C. office. I feel like I have to make a decision in the fall and that's when I'll make it.''
A lawyer, Barbour's client list includes Microsoft, Delta Air Lines and defense giant Lockheed Martin. But his roots in the Mississippi GOP date back to college days at the University of Mississippi. And, in the 1970s, he was the state party's executive director and chief fundraiser.
My business career has been good to my family financially. But we've discussed it and are willing to set that aside if this is opportunity presents itself,'' Barbour said.
Barbour said he will attend a fund-raiser Monday night for the Rankin County GOP and will do more of those. He will be at the state Capitol on Tuesday to speak to group of conservative legislators.