Political Highlights: Miss. Senate, 1988-94; U.S. House of Representatives, 1995-2007; U.S. Senate, 2007-present Born: July 5, 1951; Pontotoc, Miss. Residence: Tupelo Religion: Southern Baptist Family: Wife, Gayle Wicker; three children Education: U. of Mississippi, B.A. 1973; U. of Mississippi, J.D. 1975 Military Service: Air Force, 1976-80; Air Force Reserve, 1980-2004 Start of Service: Elected: 2008 (1st full term) Committee Assignments: Armed Services (Airland; Personnel; Seapower - Chairman); Budget; Commerce, Science & Transportation (Aviation Operations, Safety & Security; Communications, Technology, Innovation & the Internet - Chairman; Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries & Coast Guard; Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine); Environment & Public Works (Clean Air & Nuclear Safety; Fisheries, Wildlife & Water; Transportation & Infrastructure); Rules & Administration
Roll Call and CQ Weekly use ratings assigned by the Rothenberg Political Report, which are defined as follows:
SAFE: As of today, the party indicated is all but certain to win the seat.
FAVORED: One candidate has a substantial advantage, but an upset is still possible.
LEAN: The party indicated has the edge, but the outcome is less certain than for races rated as favored.
TILT: The outcome is effectively regarded as a tossup for each of these highly competitive seats, although the party indicated has a slight edge.
TOSSUP: Neither party has an edge in these contests.