Morgan Freeman helps friend in governor race

Using status to raise money for business partner's Miss. bid

CLARKSDALE, Miss. -- Academy-Award winner Morgan Freeman is using his celebrity status to help his business partner raise money for a Mississippi gubernatorial bid in 2011.

Freeman has written a fundraising letter for Bill Luckett and is one of the hosts for a cocktail party fundraiser in Los Angeles next week. Freeman says in the letter that his home state needs new leadership to improve education, health care and economic development.

Luckett formed a political action committee several months ago. The attorney is so far the only prominent Democrat to publicly say he is going to run.

Term limits prevent Republican Gov. Haley Barbour from seeking office for a third time. Two prominent Republicans have said they'll seek the GOP nomination for governor.