Around the South for Feb. 16: LA, NC & MS

Louisiana: Edwards opens special session. Without naming names, Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) criticized former Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) for helping create the state debt of some $900 million which must be paid by June 30, and $2 billion more due next year. Edwards added that he would not be out of state “pursuing some other position,” a reference to Jindal’s failed presidential bid. He also took a swipe at state Treasurer John Kennedy’s (R) suggestion that the debt could be erased without a tax increase …….North Carolina: Legislature tackles redistricting. Lawmakers are holding meetings to re-draw at least two congressional districts by Friday, Feb. 19 to comply with a court order. But House Speaker Tim Moore (R) and Senate leader Phil Berger (R) also expressed the hope that the US Supreme Court will give them more time, since absentee voting has already begun for the March 15 primary ……. Mississippi: Wicker predicts GOP will keep Senate. Speaking to the weekly Christian Science Monitor breakfast inWashington, US Sen. Roger Wicker (R), who chairs the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said that Senate GOPers up for reelection “have a record to run on,” citing efforts on education and highway funding. The map works against the GOP, however, with 24 Republican senate seats up for election, to only 10 Democrats …….