Running Against Career Politicians
Should they face off in the general election for governor, chances are Republican Dave Dennis and Democrat Bill Luckett won’t agree on a whole lot of issues. But a quick glance at their campaign websites and you see they have one major theme in common: neither are career politicians (and they want you to know that).
From Dennis’ site:
Governor Kirk Fordice believed you should sign the front side of a paycheck before running for office. He meant our state’s leaders should have the private sector experience of creating jobs and making payroll; and the private sector leadership to make tough decisions. I have that experience and leadership. For thirty-four years I have worked as a contractor on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and served as president of our family business. We make payroll. We’ve participated in the construction of thousands of buildings. We create American jobs. And we give back to the community…When voters look at Washington, D.C. or the Mississippi Capitol, they know what doesn’t work: machine politics, bureaucracy, looking out for the government instead of looking out for the citizens. That isn’t me.
From Luckett’s site:
Mississippi needs a fresh and new perspective in leadership. Our children need an advocate instead of elected officials serving special interests. Our work force needs to be supported with education, smart ideas and down home persistence in delivering the message to the world that Mississippians are the most honest, hard-working, adaptable, giving and committed people on this planet…The career politicians have had their chance to bring prosperity and change. They have failed. They are the voices of the past. Bill Luckett is the voice of our future.
Another thing these men have in common? Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant. Dennis and Bryant will square off in the GOP primary (whenever Bryant formally announces his intentions to run). If Bryant wins that, he may very well meet Luckett in the general election (Luckett has to get through his own primary as well).
Running against career politicians has obviously caught fire over the past year, and in Mississippi that seems be from all directions. The DCCC and Mississippi Democratic Party railed against ‘career politician’ Alan Nunnelee, although obviously to little success. It has worked miracles for others.
For Luckett (or whomever the Democratic nominee is), they will argue that the establishment in Jackson is the problem and the cause of the state’s situation, especially economically. Democrats are hoping that the face of the establishment is the GOP, holders of seven of the eight statewide offices.
For Dennis, he can’t come out swinging against Bryant- a very popular figure overall, and especially within the GOP electorate. Most people don’t have an opinion of Dennis yet, and I don’t think coming out attacking will be too wise (see Angela McGlowan). Rather Dennis seems to be taking an approach similar to what Henry Ross did in the MS-01 primary, positioning himself as an outsider and offering an alternative approach. Ross obviously came up short but he had much less time than Dennis will.