Mississippi Gov. Bill Allain (D) decided that he will not seek a second term, silently making the announcement by allowing Friday's filing deadline to pass. Allain, elected in a bitter race in 1983, is the first Mississippi governor in this century who could have had back-to-back terms. He pushed through a constitutional amendment that permits succession.
Allain said nothing about his decision or his plans. "We have no statement and no comment," said press secretary Jo Anne Klein.
But in a 1984 interview, six months after his election, Allain said, "I'll never run for public office again. I'll never put myself through that again."
During the campaign, a Jackson attorney promoting a Republican candidate released affidavits from male prostitutes who claimed Allain had been a client. Allain denied the charges, and later the prostitutes changed their stories.
Allain's decision leaves the field for the August gubernatorial primaries open to eight Democrats and two Republicans.
State Auditor Ray Mabus, the Democratic front-runner, said he wasn't surprised by Allain's decision because "That's what I had been hearing." Another Democratic candidate, Maurice Dantin of Columbia, said, "That's just Bill Allain. He's got his own way of doing things."
The other Democrats are Biloxi pipefitter Gilbert Fountain, Attorney General Ed Pittman, Glendora businessman Mike Sturdivant, Jackson lawyer John Arthur Eaves, Byhalia businessman H.R. Toney and former governor Bill Waller.
The Republicans are Tupelo businessman Jack Reed, who is a member of the state Board of Education, and financial planner Doug Lemon of Richland.