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Ag Commish: Spell Won’t Seek 5th Term

June 16, 2010
tags: 2011 Ag Commissioner, Dannie Reed, Lester Spell
by Brett

The AP is reporting (h/t: Y’all Politics) that four term Agriculture Commissioner Lester Spell will not seek a fifth term in 2011. Spell was first elected in 1995 as a Democrat. He switched parties before the 2007 election and won election in a three-way battle as a Republican for the first time in his career. If all the cards fall right, this means that there may be six open seats in 2011 (with only the AG and Insurance Commissioner featuring an incumbent).

Update: State Rep. Dannie Reed (R-Ackerman) has already announced his intentions to run for Ag Commish (he did so before Spell announced he was retiring). Here is a recent article from the Webster Progress Times.

17 Comments leave one →
  1. June 16, 2010 4:34 pm

    Next question: Where do we sign up for the Les Riley in 2011 fan club?

  2. RileyDad permalink
    June 17, 2010 7:21 am

    Hmmm.

  3. Jason Camp permalink
    June 17, 2010 12:24 pm

    He is the Commissioner of Agriculture not Insurance.

  4. mspolitics82 permalink
    June 17, 2010 11:39 pm

    I hope Max Phillips puts his name back in the pot…..I believe most Republican leaders respected him and voters are somewhat familiar with the name. He ran a very honorable campaign. I am not going to vote for Dannie Reed or any other legislator who wants to “move up” the ladder…..I am sick and tired of “career” politicians.

    • Dannie Reed permalink
      June 20, 2010 2:09 am

      I entered the Ag. Commissioners race to give the people a chance to select me to Ag. Commissioner when the seat comes open next year. I have respect for anyone who enters a race and especially for those that I have served with in the House who have worked against career politicains and liberal spenders. I will be glad to let the people decide who they trust to lead and I will work to inform them of who I am. I respect Mr. Phillips also and although he has run for office more times and lost more than I , I have not called him a career politician, I am a career public servant, you will find that out, unless it is just personal politics that you are interested in. I look forward to a positive campaing in which we move up the ladder in Agriculture and Economic Development of Commerce in the State, not politics as usual.

    • O'Neal permalink
      June 21, 2010 3:55 am

      Goldwater and Reagan were “career politicians”. Most of the founders were “career politicians” as evidenced by a reading of the Federalist Papers and their personal histories.

      If I get a kidney transplant, I want someone with experience to do it. The same goes for replacing a transmission or filing a lawsuit. Experience matters. The left wing in this country are masters at using emotions to win votes. I had hoped the right wing would avoid using that tactic but we are also masters of it. Lately we have seen it in the form of mantras like “Career Politician” that immediately send a message that we “the people” are being used. The problem with this technique is that it suspends good judgement and replaces it with anger. Rookies are easier to dupe by the real bad guys.

      Yes some politicians are self serving and they must be outed, but the way this phrase has been use lately it could mean anything from a 2 year career to a 20+ year career. Rep. Reed’s description (below) as a “career public servant” is a great retort. Let’s not follow the left on this one. Let us evaluate our candidates records, personal character, public service, and/or their platforms. That is what conservatives do.

      • Mississippi Elitist permalink
        June 21, 2010 4:50 pm

        O’Neal,
        “Rookies are easier to dupe by the real bad guys.” You said a mouthful there.
        I could not agree with you more. Experience is a good thing!

  5. RileyDad permalink
    June 18, 2010 8:38 am

    Max & I became good friends after we met at the Neshoba Fair when we were both running for Ag Com in 2007. We talk a couple of times every week. I also think Max would be an excellent candidate.

    We spoke at length the day this news came out. He is unsure yet whether he’s running — praying about it; trying to gauge support; looking at how able he is to run for such a position (many of us are in that position).

    Running for statewide office is a more daunting task than you can possibly imagine — costly; physically, emotionally, & Spiritually difficult; hard on your family; etc — under any circumstances. If you do not have allot of money and/ or the political establishment it is even tougher.

    As to your comment about Dannie Reed. I have been chairman of the Constitution Party for 14 years & have run as/ supported many “outsider” candidates, so do not think what I say is meant to be an elitist or “pro-insider” comment.

    However a couple of things I want to point out:
    1) Dannie Reed is hardly a career politician. He has been in the legislature for a number of years, but retired as a county extension agent (he worked in agriculture for about 30 years before running for office)
    2) Being in the legislature doesn’t automatically make one more qualified to run for office, but it doesn’t necessarily disqualify one either
    3) I do not know Dannie personally, but have spoken to him a couple of times. I do know several folks who know Dannie well & work with him that say he is a man of good character & that he has been a solid conservative in the legislature ( I would need to check his voting record more thoroughly than I have.
    4) While there was some “dirty” campaigning carried out behind the scenes by some subordinates (including some things aimed at me) I am thankful that in the 2007 Ag Com race that all three candidates ran their campaigns publicly as gentelmen. Neither Rickey Cole, nor Lester Spell, nor myself resorted to vicious personal attacks. This was during a year when the rest of the political climate was quite the opposite. . . .

    I hope that whoever runs, we will have this sort of campaign again

    (#4 was not implying that you were attacking Dannie personally. I just want to mention

    • Dontreadonme permalink
      June 22, 2010 2:24 am

      I hope you are not supporting the practice of bureaucratic double dipping. I do not care who you think you are. It is not O.K. to milk a good gravey government bureaucratic position for 25-30 years draw retirement and then continue to milk public office. It is called double dipping and its not fair. There are to many Mississippians that never get a single dip. You should be ashamed of your bureaucratic arrogance. I will activly work against either of you that attempt to take this all important position for your Double Dipping. Double Dipping is GREEDY and shows a low sense moral character as while as a public disservice. Once you retire from public service allow someone else to serve the public.

  6. Shad permalink
    June 22, 2010 12:23 pm

    What a stand up move by Mr. Reed to hop in the lions den with us and really talk about the issues personally! Lol I’d love to ol’ Philly hop in here or Dilbert/Delbert try to blog it out. Mr. Reed, I believe you have won the support of all those in the blososphere for 2011 by your courageous acts…. Look for Pro-Dannie info on Magnolia/Majority/Yall in the coming months

    • Dontreadonme permalink
      June 22, 2010 2:13 pm

      Double Dippers will go down this election year. Republicans must leave the bureaucratic ways behind them. The Double Dippers will be exposed all across the State. There are ALOT of Democrat Double Dippers. The Republicans will need to stay away from Double Dipper politics. Look at this guy Dannie Reed, he dares to furlough teachers while he collects 2 checks each month. He supports forcing teachers and other government employees to pay more into PEERS,while he draws a retirement check, a pay check and he does not pay anything into PEERS. It is called milken the gravy train and it exposes a bad character flaw “hypocrisy.” I suggest the Republican Party will do better if it does not support Double Dippers, rather it should be used as an issue to hammer the local Democrat Double Dippers. Double Dippers are not SAFE anywhere I will find you and expose you to the public.

  7. RileyDad permalink
    June 24, 2010 12:47 pm

    Early rumors/ my thoughts in Ag Com race:

    Dannie Reed – Republican — definitely running in GOP Primary (obviously)

    Perry Lee – Republican State Senator – will have to be talked into it – I’d say right now he’s only 30% likely to run in the GOP Primary

    Max Phillips – 50% likely to run.

    David Waide – Farm Bureau President. Outside possiblity to run as Republican or Democrat. Would be a formidable candidate on either side.

    Two or three others have been mentioned but those are the most likely Republican candidates right now.

    10% possibility that Les Riley will run again as the Constitution Party candidate OR even in the Republican primary depending on how things shape up

    * Don’t be surprised, however, if another 3rd Partyor Independent gets in the race (maybe more than one) after my strong showing last time

    Also, don’t be surprised if a well connected, well funded political outsider takes a shot at this race in one of the primaries (like a big farmer)

    Just for fun on the Democrat side:

    Rickey Cole says he would consider running again, but I wouldn’t consider this likely

    Sen Cindy Hyde-Smith is strongly rumored to be Spell’s favorite & has strong appeal in both parties (could run Democrat or switch & run Republican), but I don’t think she will

    I also consider Steve Holland as unlikely to give up his seat in the House unless redistricting doesn’t go to suit him. I think he knows after his 1st District Congressional defeat that his appeal outside of his district is limited (Holland has more people that hate him than those who like him).
    * I have to admit that I really hope Holland runs:
    1) It would get him out of the House
    2) He would make the race entertaining to say the least
    3) He would lose & be out of public office

  8. Dannie Reed permalink
    June 25, 2010 12:07 pm

    Dannie Reed says, OK “tread” I don’t collect a state retirement check, and I dont even use the State Health Plan. I did not furlough teachers, I helped give them more raise that they have ever gotten or more than any other state employees and wanted some accountability to go with a good pay. I think your leaning toward more spending and may be a Dem.
    Now, the only way we are going to make it budget wise is to increase jobs and productivity, our income comes from income tax and sales tax primarily, join me and get the facts straight. Right size government, lower taxes, and more jobs and production will work.

    • marmie permalink
      June 25, 2010 3:50 pm

      If tread is not a Dem, he is missing a golden opportunity. Keep up the good info Danny Reed.

  9. RileyDad permalink
    June 25, 2010 12:47 pm

    Kudos to Dannie Reed for jumping into blogsphere and being an open & available candidate early in the race. A great way to get grassroots support !

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