The House: In the Minority

Delta duel

Mississippi's Second District is nestled in the state's rich Delta region, an area famous for cotton and the blues. If Democratic State Representative Robert G. Clark triumphs over Republican Webb Franklin in November, the Delta may add a third item to its list of distinctions: Mississippi's first black Congressman since 1883.

Clark, 53, a furniture-store owner and operator of a small farm, is used to being a pioneer. When he won a state assembly seat in 1967, he was the first black Mississippi legislator in nearly a century; today the state has...