Mississippians engage democracy like meals: we like our elections large, frequent, and usually go back for seconds. We conduct elections every year in Mississippi. We elected municipal officers this year; will elect congressional and judicial candidates next year; and the following year we have our statewide and county elections.

Next year, all four Mississippi congressional seats will be on the ballot as well as one state Supreme Court justice and five justices from the Mississippi Court of Appeals. Chancery, circuit, and county judges will also be on the ballot.

The qualifying deadline for Congress is March 1 and Mississippi's First Congressional District appears to be the main course.

First term U.S. Rep. Travis Childers won this seat in a special election last year and held it in the general election. Republican state Sen. Alan Nunnelee of Tupelo is the front runner to challenge Childers, although a number of other GOP names are circulating.

While they may pull challengers, I expect Second District Congressman Bennie Thompson of Bolton, Third District Congressman Gregg Harper of Pearl and Fourth District Congressman Gene Taylor of Bay St. Louis to all seek and be elected to another term.

Republican Joe Tegerdine of Petal has already announced his intention to challenge Taylor, the entrenched and popular maverick from the Coast.

Judicial candidates face a May 7 qualifying deadline.

Justice Jess Dickinson's seat will be up on the Mississippi Supreme Court with all indications he will seek reelection. Dickinson won the seat in 2002 and avoided a run-off with 52.5 percent of the vote. He defeated incumbent Justice Chuck McRae (23.1 percent) and District 13 Chancery Judge Larry Buffington (24.4 percent). Dickinson raised and spent more than a million dollars on the 27-county south Mississippi campaign.

Five seats on the Mississippi Court of Appeals will be up for election, currently held by Joseph Lee, Tyree Irving, William Myers, Donna Barnes, and Jimmy Maxwell.

The Court of Appeals seats are based on the "old five" congressional districts: the First District in Northeast Mississippi, the Second District in the Delta, the Third District in East Mississippi, the Fourth in Southwest Mississippi, and the Fifth on the Coast.

Joseph Lee of Poplarville, 64, comes from the Fourth District where he was first elected to the Court in 1998 after defeating Greg Hinkebein with 57.4 percent of the vote. He was reelected in 2002 without opposition.

Tyree Irving of Greenwood, 63, defeated Canton Attorney Jim Herring with 53 percent of the vote to take his seat on the Court from the Second District in 1998. Irving was unopposed and won reelection in 2002.

William Myers of Pascagoula, 68 next month, was appointed by Gov. Ronnie Musgrove to the Court in 2000 to fill the vacancy created by Musgrove's elevation of Oliver Diaz to the Supreme Court. Myers was elected to finish out the term in 2002 without opposition.

Before joining the Court of Appeals, Myers served as 16th District Chancery Court Judge where he oversaw the nationwide tobacco lawsuit and settlement brought by then Attorney General Mike Moore and then attorney Dickie Scruggs.

In 2004, Gov. Haley Barbour appointed Donna Barnes of Tupelo to the Court and she was elected to complete the term without opposition in 2006. She represents the First District.

Another Barbour appointee, Jimmy Maxwell, of Oxford, also represents the First District. Barbour appointed Maxwell to the Court earlier this year to fill the vacancy created by David Chandler's elevation to the Mississippi Supreme Court after his successful 2008 defeat of Justice Chuck Easley in the Northern District.

Essentially, this is a "special election" for the remainder of Chandler's term. Maxwell is a former Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Northern District and his wife Mindy was campaign manager for U.S. Senator Thad Cochran's 2008 reelection.

BIPEC's (Business and Industry Political Education Committee) 2009 judicial ratings place Irving as pro-plaintiff, Barnes and Maxwell as balanced, and Lee and Myers somewhere in between.

Other races on the ballot in 2010 include some municipal school trustees, Mississippi Levee Commissioners, and some school board members.

If this election feast is not enough to satisfy your political appetite, just wait until 2011.

Every 10 years Mississippi redraws legislative lines according to the latest census data. Mississippi and the U.S. Department of Justice must approve these new lines based on 2010 data in time for 2011 qualifying deadline, or else we may double our legislative elections.

The last time Mississippi legislative elections immediately followed the year of the census was 1991 resulting in an election based on the old district lines in 1991, and another election under the new lines in 1992. Many expect a similar back-to-back race in 2011 and 2012. Sometimes, we just need a second helping to quell that political hunger.

Watching state legislators run on the same ballot as President Barack Obama seeking a second term will be icing on the political dessert.

Brian Perry, a former congressional aide, is a partner in a public affairs firm. Reach him at reasonablyright@brianperry.ms.