/Jim Hood has strong Jackson-area Democratic support, but his Robert Shuler Smith prosecutions concern some

Jim Hood has strong Jackson-area Democratic support, but his Robert Shuler Smith prosecutions concern some

Hinds County District attorney Robert Shuler Smith is trying to stop Hood from winning. He appears to be running to oppose Hood and has accused Hood’s office of “modern day lynching”. Hood’s office tried Smith three times unsuccessfully. One in Rankin County, for aggravated stalking stemming out of a domestic incident involving Hood’s ex-girlfriend. Two in Hinds County, for conspiracy to hinder prosecution. The 2018 trials ended. Smith was elected governor earlier this year, shocking most observers. Mississippi Today contacted many members of the Hinds County Democratic Legislative delegation and they said that Hood won four of the four statewide elections for attorney general despite the AG’s multiple criminal investigations of a prominent Hinds County politician. Some declined to comment. Although none of them said they supported Smith, Mississippi Today could not reach three legislators from the Hinds County or Jackson areas. Sollie Norwood (D-Jackson), Hood’s political director believes that the attorney general will enjoy strong support in Hinds County. Norwood stated, “He has been a friend always,” “And that’s not just after the election,” Norwood said. A Hood campaign poll released this week supports Norwood’s optimism. Hickman Analytics, a Washington-based Democratic pollster shows Hood has more than 60% support for the August Democratic primaries. The other eight Democratic candidates were all below 7 percent. Hickman’s November general election poll showed Hood, Mississippi’s sole elected Democrat, leading Lt. Governor. Tate Reeves is the Republican favorite, 45-40. This poll included 604 likely voters. It was conducted by telephone interviews between May 5 and May 9. Mississippi Today was unable to obtain the demographics for those polls. According to Hickman memo, Hood and Reeves have strong statewide names identifications. Hood’s favorability rating for Hood is 13% higher than Reeves’ unfavorable rating of 6 percent. The margin of error for the poll is plus/minus 4 percent. Norwood responded to a question about Smith’s issue by saying, “I think that will linger long.” We have to separate them. While we respect Robert Shuler Smith’s position and appreciate his efforts, it is important to distinguish the two. This is not about the governor’s election. This is how we will look at it.” Some Hinds County legislators believe Hood is the Democrats best chance of winning the governor’s seat since Lt. Gov. Ronnie Musgrove was elected in 1999, but was overthrown by Haley Barbour in 2013. Representative Earle Banks (D-Jackson) stated, “I believe that Hinds County residents understand that Jim Hood has a best chance of winning governor’s office among all the Democrats who are running.” “I believe that that is the message from the Hinds County Democratic Legislative Caucus, which we will continue to express.” Senator David Blount (D-Jackson) said about Hood that he was the “strongest candidate in either party’s field.” Smith claims he is the right choice for our next governor. Smith said, “Yes, I have many supporters across the state and endorsements. Smith stated that the constituents in their (Hinds County legislative district) support Smith for governor. Although a candidate for the Democratic primary doesn’t have to win Hinds county to be elected governor, it would be difficult to do so without the state’s most populous. Hinds County voters accounted for 10.4% of the 299 368 votes in 2015’s Democratic primary for Governor. Hinds County accounted for 8.8 percent in 2011’s primary for governor. It is possible that Hinds County voters will have a greater share of the total votes for Governor this August than in 2015. Local elections such as those for sheriff or supervisors are often responsible for the high turnout at the primaries. Nearly all of the Tippah County officials in north Mississippi have switched parties and will be running for re-election under Republican banners. The primary will continue to grow as more local officials in the state vote for the Republican Party, and their challengers are also running as Republicans. This is likely to reduce the turnout in the Democratic primaries. Hinds County is a Democratic stronghold. Velesha P. Wilkins of Flora, Madison County, is also running for governor. She could possibly siphon votes from the metro area. She was an administrator at Jackson State University, and is a former military officer. In an interview with Mississippi Today, Hood called herself a “Dixiecrat” in March. This refers to the term used back in the 1950s and 1960s when many Southern statehouses were controlled by white segregationist Democrats. “I don’t believe Mississippi needs a Dixiecrat. A Dixiecrat would not be right for Mississippi. We have had enough Dixiecrats. It’s time for all Mississippians to be serious about helping them. She said, “I’m going to fight for all Mississippians.” Others disagree. Rep. Chris Bell (D-Jackson) stated that he supports Jim Hood. “I believe he has the best interests of the state in his mind as well as those of the constituents right now.” Rep. Chris Bell, D-Jackson said that he was bothered by Smith’s prosecution and that Hood shouldn’t take Hinds County for granted. He should address concerns about the prosecution. However, Dortch stated Hood was the Democrats’ best chance of addressing issues that he cares about. He cited expanding Medicaid coverage to primarily the working poor, and funding public education. Dortch stated, “He will be a great Governor to me.” “His views in the governorship are more aligned with mine than his views as attorney General,” Dortch said. However, Ronnie Crudup Jr., a newly elected Jackson state representative, stated that he would like to speak to Hood about the Smith case as well as other issues before formally endorsing Hood. Other Jackson legislators like Reps. Debra Gibbs and Deborah Dixon, as well as Kathy Sykes, said that they are focusing on other issues such as their re-election campaigns. Hood and others claim Hood does not take Hinds County for granted. In recent weeks, he has been meeting with community leaders. He was recently interviewed by Sen. John Horhn (D-Jackson) on the radio. Horhn said that he is focusing on his campaign and not making endorsements. Horhn said that he is focused on his own campaign and not making an endorsement.