/Jim Hood loss could position Mississippi Republicans for an era of long-time dominance

Jim Hood loss could position Mississippi Republicans for an era of long-time dominance

An apparatus was attached to Barbour’s ear when we looked closer. Barbour was answering questions from CNN about the state elections. The otherwise empty, cavernous rotunda was empty except for a Mississippi Highway Patrol security guard who stood respectfully. Barbour spoke to a Mississippi reporter after he finished his CNN interview. His prediction was correct. The Republican Party would win the House, maintain its majority in Senate, and most importantly, the most statewide offices. He predicted that Gray Tollison, a state senator from Oxford, who is considered to be a leader among Democrats, would change parties. Tollison was re-elected in November as a Democrat and he switched to the Republican Party almost immediately. Barbour was happy to see the party succeed. He was the leader of the Mississippi Republican Party back when it was possible for members to meet in a telephone booth. Barbour’s $13 million 2003 campaign to overthrow the Democratic incumbent governor was instrumental in promoting Republican ascent. Ronnie Musgrove. The Barbour campaign spent a staggering amount of money, breaking all Mississippi records at the time. This record is unlikely to be broken in this year’s state election. Haley Barbour would not have prevented the Republican dominance in the state. He was more than just a politician who was at the right moment. It was his contribution that helped it accelerate. When he left office, January 2012, seven of eight state offices were held by Republicans. They did not win the pivotal 2011 election and Barbour didn’t predict that they would defeat Jim Hood, the Democratic incumbent attorney general. Hood, a north Mississippi district attorney, was first elected as attorney general in 2003, the same election in which Barbour defeated Musgrove. Jim Hood was re-elected comfortably after Republicans took control of the state in 2000, defeating Democrats who couldn’t match their fundraising numbers. Hood is running for governor this year. It is possible that Mississippians will elect Hood and seven Republicans to the lower statewide offices. Other Democrats are running for statewide office. Jay Hughes, a state representative from Oxford, has been running longer and harder than any other candidate for lieutenant governor against Republican Secretary Delbert Hosemann. Seven of the eight statewide races are being run by Democrats. These candidates are facing huge odds against more well-funded and better-known Republican candidates in a state that has the default position of a majority Mississippians to vote for the Republican candidate. Hood’s chances of winning this election would be far greater than his Democratic counterparts in other statewide races if there were any odds. It could take several elections before a Mississippi Democrat with Hood’s perceived political strength can win a statewide office. If Hood fails this year, Brandon Presley, Northern District Public Service commissioner, could be the Democrats’ only hope. Mississippi politics could be in the same position as it was in the past, when one party was so dominant that the general elections were meaningless. The pivotal election in Mississippi for much of the 20th Century was the Democratic primary, not the November general. In November, the Republican opposition to the Democratic primary winner was minimal, if any. This began to change in 1987, when Tupelo businessman Jack Reed ran a credible campaign against Democrat Ray Mabus to the office of governor. It opened the door for Vicksburg contractor Kirk Fordice in 1991 to defeat Mabus. Haley Barbour is excited at the prospect of Republicans gaining such power now.