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Bryant: Desoto Goes To The Front of The Line

November 18, 2010

On Tuesday, Phil Bryant announced four new committee appointments made open by the election of Alan Nunnelee to Congress (and then the committee seat dominos that soon fell). The biggest story was the promotion of Sen. Doug Davis (R-Hernando) from vice-chair to chair of the powerful Appropriations Committee. From the little research I have done, this is the highest position a Desoto county politician has occupied in Mississippi government.

Here is what Davis said about what this means for Desoto: “I’m humbled by the fact this is the highest appointment anybody from DeSoto County has had in a long time. You look at people like former senator Bill Hawks who helped pave the way. For a long time, even before I was elected to the Senate, DeSoto County has felt we’ve never really had a place at the table, or let me say as big a place at the table when it comes down to policy and big decision-making. This changes things. This is a huge deal for DeSoto County. I’m honored and pleased DeSoto County will be at the table when big decisions are made.”

And Bryant said this: “This is a county that loves its schools, public education. They’re gonna have direct access to the appropriations chairman in the Senate. Transportation needs for example another important part of it. Anything, mental health, public safety, all of that will go through new Chairman Davis’ appropriations committee. So Desoto goes to the front of the line.”

According to media reports, the announcement by Bryant in Hernando featured a “who’s-who” of Desoto county politicians and leaders.

** In going to Hernando to make this announcement, you have to imagine Bryant hopes that some of the goodwill from Desoto county is returned in the GOP gubernatorial primary next summer. Dave Dennis is from about as far away as you can be, but Bryant barely carried the county against Charlie Ross in 2007. Something like one in 11 GOP primary votes came from Desoto in 07 and Bryant certainly didn’t hurt himself any on Tuesday.

*** Bryant’s other appointments were as follows: Sen. Videt Carmichael (R-Meridian) to Vice Chairman of Appropriations, Sen. Perry Lee (R-Mendenhall) to Chairman of the Universities and Colleges Committee, and Sen. Giles Ward (R-Louisville) to Chairman of the Forestry Committee.

Harper re-elected to Steering Committee. Rep. Gregg Harper will be returning to the GOP Steering Committee as the sophomore class representative after the GOP caucus chose a number of positions yesterday.

Harper refereed to Alan Nunnelee and Steven Palazzo as “two rising stars,” and said he is working with them to seat them in committees that that will “benefit both their district and the state.”

** According to Politico, Nunnelee is interested in a spot on that same committee- the Republican Steering Committee. (Of course, this was before Nunnelee consulted with Erick Erickson about what he can do). As for Palazzo, he has regularly expressed interest in the Armed Services Committee.

Simpson reaffirms plans to run for AG. Department of Public Safety Commissioner Steve Simpson was on Gallo earlier this week and reiterated his intentions of running against Jim Hood in the race for Attorney General.

If I’m the Mississippi GOP I have two top goals: 1) Win the House. That means getting some form of 12 seats from either picking up Democratic held seats and/ or convincing Democrats to change parties. 2) Defeat Jim Hood. Maybe this is 1A, not number two on the list. By virtue of being the last Democrat in statewide office, Hood obviously has a target on his back. Add that with the fact that the AG is certainly a powerful office and one in which Hood/ Mississippi Democrats have used to try to stifle Haley Barbour/ Mississippi GOP on a number of occasions, and your target got bigger.

Is Simpson the man to defeat Hood? I don’t know, but I’m not exactly feeling too comfortable if I’m Jim Hood after watching the midterm elections.

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