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A Rankin County Run State Government?

August 31, 2011

Since I looked at the Speaker’s over the past 70 years, which included no one from the Jackson area and more than two decades of control by Northeast Mississippians, I also wanted to look at the governor and lieutenant governor.

As I said, Tim Ford and Billy McCoy have helped Northeast Mississippi keep a lock on the post for 24 years. During eight of those years, North Mississippi actually had control of the top three offices in the state. From 1988-1992, with Ford as Speaker, Ray Mabus of Ackerman was governor and Brad Dye of Charleston was lieutenant governor. And from 2000-2004, still with Ford, Ronnie Musgrove of Batesville was governor and Amy Tuck of Maben was lieutenant governor.

As for this year, we know at least one of the three top office holders will be from the Jackson area- Tate Reeves is from Flowood. With Phil Bryant the favorite to win the governor’s mansion, that would be a second Rankin county resident. With a few serious candidates for Speaker from the capitol region, the area could control all three offices, which would give the region political clout it simply hasn’t seen. Even more interesting is the possibility of Mark Baker winning the Speaker’s post. He hasn’t made any formal announcements yet, but is viewed as a serious candidate. He is from Brandon. If he was to win (and Bryant was too), Rankin county would have a hold on the top three offices in the state. That would give one county power that I am pretty sure has never been matched.

By the way, the last Jackson area resident to be governor was John Bell Williams. He is from Raymond and served from 1968-1972. Interestingly, he was preceded by Paul B. Johnson who is from Hattiesburg, hometown of Johnny DuPree- and the last Pine Belt resident to win the position.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Charie Stogner permalink
    August 31, 2011 1:50 pm

    Somewhat scary since it appears the Rankin element is dominated by persons involved for personal gain and/or a strong ‘religious right’ agenda. In many ways today’s GOP, especially with domination by persons not very interested in principle, or doing public service for public good rather than personal gain, financially or control, looks much like the Mississippi Democrat regime when Eastland and others used it for patronage, power and personal financial gain.
    The GOP had two candidates far more qualified than Bryant, one very much like former Governor Fordice, and who like both Fordice and Barbour would have had to take a ‘cut in income’ to serve, but instead Tea Party types fell in line with GOP establishment (club) members and elected the one person who needed the job for the income.
    Oh well, let’s see what this new regime does.

  2. Benny053 permalink
    August 31, 2011 3:53 pm

    You mean Conservative types, don’t you, Charlie. I know everyone wishes that the Tea Party had as much control as you seem to think it has…but it doesn’t. The biggest thing that Phil Bryant had going for him in this last election was name recognition! Too many people all through out the State, had never heard of the other guys until the last 4 or 5 months, and then, they had too much ground to make up.

    Ron Williams came on strong at the end, and if he runs again, he’ll have a leg up in the name recognition factor – his billboard signs were everywhere, and all over websites, too! Whereas, I only saw one yard sign for Hudson Holliday in Madison…only one! Sorry, but the majority of people vote for who they know or who they’ve heard of…political bullet points don’t matter. Personality and a name are what people see.

    However, to point opposite of name recognition…when I worked a precinct in Madison county on Aug. 2nd and 23rd – several people who seem to be clueless, voted for Charles Barbour, only because of his last name. Fortunately, more people voted for Will Longwitz, and Barbour was defeated.

    Getting your name out there matters….just ask State Senator Chris McDaniel, who is already building his name up and his war chest, three years in advance, to run for Senator against Thad Cochran.

    So my advise to anyone wanting to run for Governor in 2016…start running and campaigning now…and please, if you have a dull as dish water personality (hint: James Broadwater), then do us all a favor, and don’t run.

    • Ron Williams permalink
      August 31, 2011 6:15 pm

      Hey Benny,

      You are right, Name recognition probably counts for 70 to 80 % of the vote.

      I may leave some of the boards up for 4 years They were are best asset.

      We got a late start and I didn’t realize how hard it would be to get the recognition factor on our side.

      I’ve spoken with many people who said that iof they had known me, they would have supported me.

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