/Fitch leads field for AG, but can’t avoid runoff against Taggart

Fitch leads field for AG, but can’t avoid runoff against Taggart

Fitch received 45 percent of Tuesday’s vote, compared with 28.2 percent for Madison County lawyer Andy Taggart according to unofficial returns. The vote for State Rep. Mark Baker from Rankin County was 26.8 percent, which is about 5,000 more than Taggart. August 27 will see the Fitch-Taggart second round. In the November general election, Jennifer Riley-Collins will be facing the winner. Fitch and Riley-Collins are competing to replace Jim Hood, a four-term attorney general who was elected governor on Tuesday night. Fitch posted on social media Tuesday night, thanking Mississippians for their support. Baker was not successful despite the fact that an independent group spent more than $900,000. in television and radio advertising support of Baker’s campaign. Baker was the only candidate to say he would stop the practice of hiring outside legal counsel to assist the Attorney General in large-scale corporate lawsuits. This group supported Baker. The lawsuits brought by the Mississippi attorney General included lawsuits against tobacco companies in the 1990s and lawsuits against drug companies that overcharged Medicaid recipients in recent years. Taggart lost his son in a drug battle and is now running for attorney general. Taggart, a former Madison County supervisor who was also the chief of staff for Gov. Kirk Fordice was the first Republican governor elected to Mississippi since 1800s. Fitch was the first woman to run for office, having won the post of state treasurer in 2011. Fitch would become the first woman to be elected attorney general of the state if she wins. All three candidates stressed their conservative credentials.