If he resigns, Lott would become the sixth Republican senator to announce they were stepping down this election cycle. His term expires in 2012; and a resignation would prompt a special election to fill the remainder of his term. Gov. Haley Barbour (R-Miss.) would be tasked with appointing a replacement for Lott to serve before the special election is held.
In 2006, Lott was re-elected with 64 percent of the vote.
Rep. Chip Pickering (R-Miss.), who announced his retirement from the House earlier this year, would be a leading candidate for the Senate seat in the special election. Another possible GOP contender for the seat would be Rep. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.)
On the Democratic side, former Mississippi Attorney General Mike Moore has been mentioned as a strong statewide candidate in an otherwise heavily Republican state.