Retired Judge Pickering to lead Carson campaign in Miss.

Ben Carson
FILE - In this Oct. 29, 2015 file photo, Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson speaks in Lakewood, Colo. For some Republican presidential candidates, the party’s first three primary debates have been pivotal proving grounds that have strengthened their campaigns or shaken their supporters. The famously mild-mannered Carson has largely avoided making headlines in the widely watched televised events, often willing to cede the spotlight to more verbose rivals. Yet the retired neurosurgeon’s standing with voters in preference polls has only gotten better. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – A retired federal judge will be the Mississippi chairman of Republican Ben Carson’s presidential campaign.

The Carson campaign on Friday announced the appointment Judge Charles W. Pickering.

Pickering says in a statement that he believes Carson, a retired neurosurgeon, has integrity and moral authority.

Pickering served in the state Senate 1972-80, was chairman of the Mississippi Republican Party 1976-78 and president of the Mississippi Baptist Convention 1983-85.

President George H.W. Bush in 1990 chose him to serve as a federal district judge for southern Mississippi.

President George W. Bush nominated Pickering to serve on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2001 and 2003, but Democrats blocked the nominations. Pickering served on court in 2004 when Bush bypassed the Senate and put him there through a recess appointment.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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