Archive for the ‘In The News’ Category
Of the five Democratic legislators seeking to serve their hometowns as mayor, only one will be for sure returning to the legislature this next session. Representative Chuck Espy (House 26) lost to businessman Bill Luckett in the Democratic Primary on May 7. That is good news for education reform advocates as Espy has been a champion for charter schools. Luckett will face a Republican and an independent in the general election.
In Holly Springs, Representative Kelvin Buck (House 5) defeated incumbent Mayor Andre DeBerry in the Democratic Primary. He faces no general election opponent and when he resigns to become mayor, it will trigger a special election.
In Vicksburg, Representative George Flaggs (House 55) appears to have closely edged out his five opponents (including the incumbent mayor) to win the primary without a run-off. He will face independent Daryl Hollingsworth in the June 4 general election but is expected to win. He had previously said he would resign early to spend full time campaigning. Whenever he does resign, that will trigger a special election for his seat.
Representative Omeria Scott (House 80) is headed for a May 21 run-off for Mayor of Laurel. If she wins the Democratic nomination she will face two independents in June.
Representative Billy Broomfield (House 110) advances to the June general election against independents Dobbs Dennis and John Mosley, Jr. Broomfield defeated incumbent Mayor Aneice Liddell in the Democratic Primary.
I don’t have context on past cycles on whether this is an unusual exodus of legislators to the municipal level. One story line could be that Democrats, in the minority for the first time, are looking for other opportunities now that Republicans control the House of Representatives. But political folks often look for narratives even when one does not exist. While the GOP in charge may have contributed to the search for greener pastures, at least two of these representatives (Flaggs and Espy are both committee chairmen) worked well across party lines and Flaggs had previously sought to be mayor. I would think the motivation, as is always, a mix of local opportunity, more time at home, an increase in retirement, a desire to serve their neighbors and a little frustration at being out of legislative power as well.
Democrats would be hard pressed to claim these particular races as partisan victories as three resulted in the defeat of Democrat incumbents.
New mayors will take office July 1.
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Below is a running and periodically updated list of legislative special elections in 2013 in Mississippi.
January 8 - House 59 (Rankin) Election: Scot Allen; Benny L. Hubbard; Bradley Lum; Brent Powell - WINNER: Powell (BLOG POST: MS House 59 Special - Finance Reports: Powell & Lum leading)
February 5 - Senate 28 (Hinds) Election: Tamarra Grace Butler; Cindy Ayers Elliott; Marshand Crisler; Sollie B. Norwood; Antonio Porter; Kathy L. Sykes; James Stewart; Tommy L. Wallace II; Cassandra Welchin - RUNOFF: Crisler & Norwood (BLOG POST: MS Senate 28 - Special Election - Campaign Finance)
March 12 - House 36 (Clay, Monroe, Lowndes) Election: Jimmy Davidson, Bobbie Davis, Karl Gibbs, Rev. Eddie Longstreet, Dr. Roderick Van Daniel, Jeannie Johnson Staten. RUNOFF - Gibbs & Longstreet (BLOG POST: House 36 Campaign Finance – Not Much To Report)
March 26 - House 11 (Panola, Tate) Election: Marshall Bartlett, Anderson Boothe, Lataisha M. Jackson, Ederic L. Kerney (BLOG POST: Bartlett, Boothe lead fundraising & spending in House 11 special) RUNOFF - Boothe & Jackson
April 2 - Run-Off for House 36 (Clay, Monroe, Lowndes): Karl Gibbs, Rev. Eddie Longstreet (BLOG POST: Longstreet leads Gibbs in campaign finance for House 36 runoff) WINNER: Gibbs
April 16 - Run-Off for House 11 (Panola, Tate): Anderson Boothe and Lataisha Jackson (BLOG POST: Whoever wins House 11 will be youngest legislator) WINNER: Jackson
May 28 - House 95 (Harrison, Hancock): Candidates: Tommy Ballard, Sherri Carr Bevis, Grant Bower, Patricia H. Willis (BLOG POST: House 95 special - Willis self funds with $25K; Bevis gets political insiders)
June 18 - Potential Run-Off for House 95
After several years of excellent service, Capstone Partner Brian Wilson will be leaving the Noxubee Alliance. His relationship with Noxubee County continues personally if not professionally, as it is his home and he is always looking for ideas to help that community. Because of his passion for the area, I’ve visited Noxubee many times in recent years and love downtown Macon, the Noxubee River, their blues and music heritage, and the history of the area. Wilson said in his release, “Noxubee County has a bright future of which I will always be on the team” and I personally know that to be true. The County has had some great economic successes and the seeds are planted for more, and Wilson will always be around nuturing those seeds even if he isn’t the gardener. The Columbus Commercial Dispatch and the Mississippi Business Journal both have pieces about his departure.
I spoke to Hastings Wyman at the Southern Political Report about how the First Congressional District race in Mississippi is shaking up for 2010. Basically I said any congressional incumbent has a huge advantage in Mississippi. But if Republicans want to take on Childers this will be the year to do it, especially if 2010 turns out to be like 1994. I think that someone like state Senator Merle Flowers or State Senator Alan Nunnelee could either make a strong run and each has pros and cons. Even if they have a spirited primary, the winner could still make a credible challenge if they don’t leave as much blood on the field as the Greg Davis campaign did. All that to say that Republicans have a shot, but right now it is Childers’ to lose.
Today is the primary run-off in cities and towns across Mississippi. In the capital city, former two-term mayor Harvey Johnson is making a comeback run facing off against city councilman Marshand Crisler. Its been a typical Jackson campaign with lots of accusations, allegations, and anonymous attacks. Some anonymous group said that Johnson bought the endorsement of former Senator John Horhn by agreeing to help retire his campaign debt. Crisler denounced that group. Then Horhn accused Crisler of actually trying to do the same thing.
Haley Westbrook from Fox 40 News asked for my analysis regarding the accusations. Essentially, it is not uncommon for a candidate to assist in the retirement of a campaign debt of defeated former opponent who endorses him. But I would be very disturbed by an explicit quid pro quo: offering an elected official a financial incentive in exchange for an endorsement. Its a fine line to walk but ultimately, an allegation like this coming out the day before the election does not hold much credibility. If Horhn were concerned with ethics and good government, he should have made this accusation last week when all camps could have responded, and not made the accusation after he had endorsed Crisler’s opponent.
The Mississippi Business Journal has this piece on the passage of the Mississippi Hills National Heritage Area:
Congress voted to create the Mississippi Hills National Heritage Area, which includes Noxubee County and 29 other Northeast Mississippi counties.
The designation will authorize up to $10 million for historic preservation and cultural and heritage tourism efforts. The approved bill is being sent to the White House for the President Obama’s signature.
The Mississippi Hills project has been in development since 2004. The original proposal called for the heritage area’s southern boundary to end at U.S. 82, which would have excluded Noxubee County. However, extensive lobbying by the Noxubee Alliance convinced Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) and Mississippi Hills officials to include Noxubee County in the final proposal.
Capstone partner Brian Wilson assisted in this project on behalf of the Noxubee Alliance. Wilson said:
“I helped to create Mississippi’s first national heritage area on the Gulf Coast, so I was aware of the tremendous benefits that a heritage area could offer Noxubee. Job creation and residential growth are our highest priorities. They both start with quality of life. The national heritage area will be one more tool in our kit to promote Noxubee as a great place to live, work, and play.”
The Commerical Dispatch says that Senator Thad Cochran was instrumental in the measure’s passage and:
The designation will authorize up to $10 million for historic preservation and cultural and heritage tourism efforts. The approved bill is being transmitted to the White House for the president’s signature. The Mississippi Hills project has been in development since 2004.
I’ll be joining guest host, the Honorable Senator Terry C. Burton, on the Paul Gallo Show Monday morning on Supertalk Mississippi. You can listen in or watch streaming video online at www.supertalk.fm.
Ryan Annison (who served as deputy campaign manager of Wicker for Senate 2008 and Barbour for Governor 2007) and I jointly wrote a case study piece on the 2008 Wicker Campaign for Politics Magazine (formerly known as Campaigns and Elections Magazine). It will be on newsstands this month.
We discussed the Wicker Campaign’s positive and contrast messages, the political environment in Mississippi in 2008 affecting Senator Roger Wicker and former Governor Ronnie Musgrove, message delivery through direct mail and television, fundraising, the campaign ground game, and the nature of the campaign and outcome.
The special Senate election in Mississippi required basic campaigning: blocking and tackling. Consistency can be boring, even scary, for those outside the campaign. But sure and steady won the race.
You can read the full article online (Politics Magazine: Keeping a Red State Red) although if you want to see the maps and graphics, you need to buy the hard copy.
This morning, economist James Leggette and I appeared on Supertalk Mississippi’s ”The Gallo Radio Show” to discuss the trillion dollar stimulus packagedeficit spending bill pending before the U.S. Senate. (We were on right after the barber shop quartet.) The grassroots activists and people on the street I see all agree the stimulus bill will not be effective and is a troubling expansion of government. We discussed the legislation to some extent (and I wrote about the House version last week) but it occurred to me, that many people don’t care about the details. IF it is necessary to fix our economy, Americans are willing to sacrifice as they always do. Showing examples of the ludicrous spending measures illustrates the Democrats are employing politics as usual; but for Americans to reject this bill, Republicans must show that it is unnecessary in its current form. The three Americans to convince first are Senators Specter, Collins, and Snowe. By the way, you should check out Supertalk’s new website where you can now not only listen but also watch the Gallo Show, JT & Dave, and others.
The Neshoba Democrat editorialized this week about Capstone partner Brian Wilson’s leadership program for economic development in Noxubee County.
Nearby Noxubee County is taking a novel approach to leadership.
The county’s economic development office has partnered to present a leadership development program designed to provide Noxubee business and political leaders with the essential skills for decision making and, perhaps most importantly, taking action.
Leadership development is the prerequisite to good community and economic development.
For Noxubee County, - with one of the highest unemployment rates and a huge challenge with poverty - starting a leadership development program was one of the priorities identified by residents in a strategic planning exercise.
“It is a powerful tool for self development and to help diverse groups learn how to work together,” said William Oliver, president of the Noxubee County Board of Supervisors.
Noxubee County officials recognize that leadership training is essential.
“All of us want to live in a community where things get done,” said Brian Wilson, executive director of the Noxubee Economic and Community Development Alliance. “That’s what happens with leadership training.”
Getting things done is the aim.
You can read the full editorial here: Neshoba Democrat / Fire In The Belly