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Roger Frederick Wicker (born July 5, 1951) is an Americanmarker politician and member of the Republican Party. He has been the junior U.S. Senator from Mississippimarker since December 2007, when he was appointed by Governor Haley Barbour to fill the seat vacated by Trent Lott. He subsequently won the 2008 special election for the remainder of Lott's term. Prior to his career in the U.S. Senate, Wicker served in the U.S. House of Representatives, representing from 1995 to 2007.

United States House of Representatives

Wicker began his political career as a member of Trent Lott's political counsel. He then served in the Mississippi State Senate from 1987 to 1994, representing a district that included Tupelomarker. He was the first Republican elected to the legislature from Northern Mississippi since Reconstruction.

In 1994, Democrat Jamie Whitten declined to seek re-election; he had represented the 1st District for 54 years, a record longevity broken in 2009 by John Dingell. Wicker finished first in a crowded six-way Republican primary; the other big name in the primary, former U.S. Attorney Bob Whitwell, finished 600 votes short of the other runoff spot. In the runoff, Wicker defeated attorney Grant Fox with 53 percent of the vote.

In the general election, Wicker defeated Fulton attorney Bill Wheeler, capturing 63 percent of the vote, making him the first Republican to represent the 1st District in over a century. However, this was not considered an upset, as the 1st has always been a rather conservative district (especially in the Memphismarker suburbs). It last supported a Democrat for president in 1976, when Jimmy Carter carried the district. Before then, what is now the 1st had last supported the official Democratic presidential candidate in 1956. Although Whitten had a nearly unbreakable hold on the district, it had been considered very likely that he would be succeeded by a Republican once he retired.

Wicker was reelected six more times without much difficulty, never dropping below 60 percent of the vote. He was formerly a member of the House Appropriations Committee. He was also Deputy Republican Whip.

In Congress, Wicker worked on issues related to medical research and on economic development for his home state. He advocates private-public partnerships to bring investment to rural areas. Wicker also worked for veterans' issues while serving as a member of the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee. In his final year as Representative, Wicker topped the list in earmarks.

United States Senate

At a press conference on December 31, 2007, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour appointed Wicker to fill the Senate seat vacated by Trent Lott on December 18, 2007. He was sworn in by the clerk of the U.S. Senate just prior to that news conference.

Wicker ran for the remainder of Lott's term in the November 2008 special election against Barbour's predecessor as governor Ronnie Musgrove. He won the seat with 55% of the vote. Wicker's resignation from the House also triggered a May 13, 2008 special election to fill the vacancy in the House, which was won by Democrat Travis Childers.

Committee assignments

Electoral history

Official photo as U.S.

The following is a partial summary of Wicker's election results.
2008 Mississippi United States Senate election
Roger Wicker (R) (inc.) 55%
Ronnie Musgrove (D) 45%
2006 Mississippi 1st District United States Congressional election
Roger Wicker (R) (inc.) 65.9%
Ken Hurt (D) 34.1%
2004 Mississippi 1st District United States Congressional election
Roger Wicker (R) (inc.) 79%
Barbara Dale Washer (Reform) 21%
1994 Mississippi 1st District United States Congressional election
Roger Wicker (R) 63%
Bill Wheeler (D) 37%

Personal life

Wicker was born in Pontotoc, Mississippimarker on July 5, 1951. He served as a page in the U.S. House of Representatives when he was 16. He earned a bachelor's degree in journalism and political science and a law degree from the University of Mississippimarker where he was a member of the Sigma Nu fraternity.

Wicker and his wife Gayle have three children: Margaret, a Capitol Hill staffer in Washington, D.C.marker; Caroline, who also currently works in D.C.; and McDaniel, a Phi Beta Kappa upperclassman at the University of Mississippi. The Wickers reside in Tupelomarker, where he is a deacon at First Baptist Church.

Military service

After graduation, Wicker served as an officer in the United States Air Force from 1976 to 1980. Starting in 1980, he was a member of the Air Force Reserve; he left the Reserve in 2003 as a lieutenant colonel.


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