Birthdate: July 5, 1951
Birth Place: Pontotoc, MS, United States
Residence: Tupelo, MS
Religion: Southern Baptist
First Elected: 2007
Roger Wicker was born in Pontotoc, Miss., and now lives in nearby Tupelo. He attended the University of Mississippi where he earned a bachelor's in 1973 and a law degree in 1975.
He served in the Air Force from 1976 to 1980 and retired from the Air Force Reserve in 2004 as a lieutenant colonel. He was a state senator from 1987 to 1994.
Wicker was elected to the U.S. House in 1994. He was appointed to the U.S. Senate in December 2007 after Republican Trent Lott retired one year into a six-year term. Wicker won election to the seat in 2008.
He and his wife, Gayle, have three children.
Roger Wicker faces in November 2012 Democrat Albert N. Gore Jr., the Constitution Party's Thomas Cramer and the Reform Party's Shawn O'Hara. In the March 2012 primary, Wicker received 89 percent of the vote, defeating two challengers.
Mississippi Republican Gov. Haley Barbour appointed Wicker to the U.S. Senate in late 2007 after Republican Trent Lott stepped down. He then defeated in 2008 one of his longtime friends, Democratic former Gov. Ronnie Musgrove, in a race to fill the final four years of Lott's remaining six-year term.
In April 2012, Wicker was one of 16 senators who sent a letter to the U.S. trade representative expressing concern about new duties proposed by Mexico for U.S. poultry imports.
After BP's Deepwater Horizon oil rig ruptured in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010, Wicker was among Republicans who said President Barack Obama's administration had made a mistake by setting a temporary moratorium on deep-water drilling in the Gulf.
Wicker is an outspoken social conservative who often criticizes Democrats as supporting excessive federal spending. But Taxpayers for Common Sense, a nonpartisan group that monitors government spending, said in March 2009 that Wicker was responsible for $391 million of budget earmarks for projects in his home state _ putting him second only to fellow Mississippi Republican Rep. Thad Cochran, who had $437.7 million in earmarks.
Wicker served seven years in the Mississippi Senate before winning an open U.S. House seat in the northern part of the state in 1994. He was freshman class president for the 73 Republicans elected to the U.S. House that year as part of Newt Gingrich's "Contract With America." Wicker quickly established himself in Washington and earned a spot on the powerful House Appropriations Committee.
He has focused on education, securing funding for the National Center for Physical Acoustics at the University of Mississippi, which is located in the House district he served.
Wicker has also worked in the House to protect Columbus Air Force Base, which is also in his district, along with Naval Air Station Meridian in a neighboring district, from closing in 2005.
Wicker was a strong supporter of President George W. Bush and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He had just left a briefing at the Pentagon before the building was attacked on Sept. 11. He opposes abortion and supported Bush's 2001 tax cuts as a means of stimulating economic growth.
Source: Associated Press