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Greg Ward Will Not Run For Re-election

February 22, 2011
tags: 2011 State House, Greg Ward, HD 4
by Brett

I just got off the phone with a source who has confirmed that Rep. Greg Ward (D-Ripley) has decided not to run for re-election for his North Mississippi based seat. Ward has served three terms in the House and currently chairs the Agriculture Committee.

Ward was a previous backer of Speaker Billy McCoy, but was mentioned by Rep. Jeff Smith (D-Columbus) as the leader of a group of Democrats who have stated they would not support McCoy again, or one of his allies (i.e., Rep. Bobby Moak). But Ward was still a top target for Republicans and had already drawn two challengers: Jimmy Benefield and Alan Miller.

There is also talk that Moak has lined up a Democrat, something that has been in the works since it was revealed that Ward would not support him in his likely bid for Speaker should McCoy not run again. That said, Republicans have a much better chance of picking this seat up without Ward running.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Charlie Stogner permalink
    February 24, 2011 8:06 am

    I think were I’ve seen Moak has a relatively hefty campaign fund while in a district that even with a lot of shifting will probably be safe for him.
    Unless I’m badly mistaken a lot of Moak’s funds come from the gambling companies (Moak is chairman of the House committee overseeing gambling) and it will be interesting to note how much funding he will put in this house seat in a district far removed from any gambling tax revenue.

  2. Ivehadbetter permalink
    February 24, 2011 9:12 am

    Moak does get money from the gaming industry, but his money for the speakers race would probably come mostly from Grisham. If he runs for speaker, I don’t think proximity to gaming revenue will have anything to do with it. My bet is that he will identify the seats he thinks he can win and invest heavily in those districts.

  3. rubradog permalink
    February 24, 2011 7:05 pm

    Moak is entirely safe in his district. He will spend the money in districts where he thinks there is a shot at electing a trial lawyer friendly Democrat challenger who can knock off a Republican incumbent or take an open seat. The number of Greg Ward type Democrats is dwindling quickly but Moak might consider backing a challenger to one or two of the ones who might be left.

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