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Nunnelee Spends Week In D.C.

November 29, 2010
tags: Alan Nunnelee, casino, Choctaw, Southern Democrats, Steve Simpson
by Brett

Both the Commercial Dispatch and Daily Journal have articles on Alan Nunnelee’s first week in Washington as a Congressman-elect, for what is known as freshman orientation.

Nunnelee said that he is “hoping very early we can pass a repeal of Obamacare,” he said he will maintain face-to-face contact with constituents, and warned against “losing their way” similar to the 1994 Republican class.

Nunnelee said he spent most of his time with other freshman from nearby Southern states such as Martha Roby of Alabama and Scott DesJarlais and Stephen Fincher of Tennessee.

He also said he is spending a lot of time with Gregg Harper and Steven Palazzo, who will make up Mississippi’s GOP delegation in the House, and said they will be working together.

Simpson makes three. We noted recently that Department of Public Safety Commissioner Steve Simpson is likely to run for Attorney General as a Republican next year. Geoff Pender makes an interesting point: Simpson is now the third serious Coast candidate to make a run in 2011, all as Republicans.

The others include Dave Dennis (running for governor) and Billy Hewes (running for lieutenant governor).

Simpson is likely to make a formal announcement in January.

On The Democrats Collapse In Dixie. Politico has a very nice rundown of the 2010 elections in the South and the follow up which has made big-time Republican gains even bigger in the form of party-switchers. Here are a couple points of interest:

- Mississippi is one of just two states in the South where Democrats control both houses of the state legislature (Arkansas is the other). Politico says that the Magnolia State “could flip to the GOP in the next election.”

- A significant point that is often overlooked is this: the bad losses have left the Democrats with little in the way of a bench for future elections (especially when it comes to statewide or federal elections).

- The biggest losses (in terms of legislators and voters in general) have occurred among rural white males- or what we often refer to as RWDs (rural, white Democrats). Politico highlighted this problem for Democrats in North Alabama, which was the last stronghold of white Democrats in Alabama. The makeup of that part of the state reflects very favorably with that in the First District of Mississippi; which also turned strongly against their Democratic Congressman about four weeks ago.

- Running against Nancy Pelosi, Barack Obama, etc. was often not enough for national Democrats this year. If you were a Democrat you were on the wrong team. We will see if that changes, especially in local races.

- And in an interesting point, they argue that the rise of new media has made it more difficult for local Democrats to differentiate themselves against the national party. Politico noted how many old-time Southern Democrats have had relationships with “influential newspapers in their region,” which today no longer rule the political discussion. Those ‘influential regional newspapers,’ you may remember, endorsed Travis Childers (Daily Journal) and Gene Taylor (Sun Herald). You saw how much weight they pulled.

Controversial casino to open. The proposed Choctaw casino in Jones county is set to open “in less than a month” according to AP reports. Over the past year we detailed the political opposition, which included virtually every Republican statewide office holder in the state, but that looks like it won’t have much affect in the end.

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