Thursday Morning Election Notebook
** As Jere Nash noted yesterday, Sen. Tom King- who is running for Transportation Commissioner in the Southern District- posted a healthy fundraising year raising more than $153,000 and he currently sits on $202,000. You can view the report here. As of right now, King is the only candidate in the race for the seat made open by retirement of Wayne Brown.
** In the Central District, Republican Dick Hall may have a challenger from Madison County Supervisor Tim Johnson.
** The Daily Journal ran a pretty scathing article essentially accusing Steve Simpson of violating the Hatch Act relying on Brad Pigott- a former U.S. attorney under Bill Clinton- for the meat of the article. The premise is that Simpson has not resigned his post as commissioner of the Mississippi Department of Public Safety, while announcing his intentions to run for Attorney General. Simpson maintains that he is not a formal candidate and will resign at the appropriate time.
** Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney made his re-election bid official today. You can read his press release here.
** Rep. Mark DuVall has certainly made a name for himself this week. We haven’t talked about his Ole Miss bill, and really don’t plan to, but wanted to talk on DuVall. As far as we know, he is running for re-election. DuVall won his first term in 2007 for the seat formerly held by Jamie Franks; who left it to run for lieutenant governor. His district- HD19- is really one of the last old school, yellow dog districts. It covers parts of Lee, Itawamba and Tishomingo counties. It has- I am pretty certain- the lowest percentage of black voters of any district in the state (just four percent). Yet, Haley Barbour underperformed winning just 54 percent in 2007.
The question is does this new attention help or hurt DuVall? DuVall, a State grad, said he introduced the bill because Ole Miss fans in his district requested that he do so. DuVall won the open seat with about 52 percent of the vote last time around (one of the narrowest margins that year). This is a seat the GOP can win, if they can find a serious candidate.
** Here is a clip of Dave Dennis’ recent interview with Mississippi Public Broadcasting. And here are some behind-the-scenes photos of Dennis with MPB; as well as during his time with the Mississippi Business Journal.