/Lucien Smith out as MSGOP chair; Gov Reeves backs Gulf Coast businessman to replace him

Lucien Smith out as MSGOP chair; Gov Reeves backs Gulf Coast businessman to replace him

Smith stated Monday that he plans to call a meeting of the state GOP Executive Committee to elect a chair. This was not a surprise. According to many Republican sources, Reeves was the new de facto head in Mississippi Today’s first term as governor. A sitting Republican governor will typically choose a new chairman as the head of the state party. Although the executive committee technically elects the GOP chairman, the governor usually installs it by acclamation. In recent history, there has not been a major challenge by an executive committee to the nomination of a Republican governor for chairman. Reeves stated Monday that all Republicans should be thankful for Lucien Smith’s steady stewardship. Reeves stated, “He has been an outstanding chairman, and will continue being an important figure in Mississippi.” Bordeaux, an insurance executive and chair of Reeves Harrison County campaign committee was critical to Reeves’ win last year’s GOP primaries and general election. Bordeaux was recently appointed to a commission by the governor that created a new design of the state flag. This will be presented to voters in an up-or down vote on November 3. Some GOP leaders claim that the change in state party leadership was not due to any political disagreement. Smith is widely respected by party leaders. Reeves thinks Smith is an attorney at a large law firm that does millions in business with the state. Reeves doesn’t believe that is a good thing and wants a chairman who isn’t get into such problems. Reeves, Smith and others appeared to be politically polarized over the Legislature’s decision to change the state flag with its divided Confederate battle emblem. Smith said that Mississippi Today was right to adopt a new flag for Mississippi, despite the fact that the party itself didn’t make a decision. Reeves had previously opposed the Legislature changing the state flag, arguing that the vote should be taken by the people. Smith said Monday that serving as the GOP chair was “the greatest honor of all my professional lives and I am proud to have accomplished what we have.” After Joe Nosef’s abrupt resignation, Phil Bryant appointed Smith to be the 12th Chairman of the MSGOP. Smith is an attorney at Balch and Bingham law office. He was previously chief of staff to Bryant and counsel and budget advisor to the former governor. Haley Barbour. Smith was unsuccessful in his bid for the office of state treasurer. Smith led the party through one of its most prosperous political times. Last year’s elections saw Republicans win all eight statewide seats, including the governor’s seat, and most of the districtwide seats. They also increased their supermajority over the Legislature. Smith stated that the Republican Party in Mississippi is stronger than ever and that the state is better because of it. After three years, I feel it is time to appoint a new chairman. Frank is a friend of mine and a strong Republican. ”
I am confident that the party will continue its growth under his leadership.”