While HD 24 has not officially been called yet, Sid Bondurant appears to have lost his re-election contest where he was running as a Republican for the first time. Unofficial numbers have 3,745 votes for Democrat Kevin Horan compared to 3,600 votes for Bondurant. Bondurant, the only medical doctor in the legislature, had planned to run for Speaker of the House if he returned.
He obviously won’t get that opportunity. But men like Bondurant, who put aside personal interests in voting against the House Democrats map, deserve gratitude from Republicans and conservatives throughout the state. Bondurant could have easily won re-election under the Reynolds map. His new district would have had a BVAP in the 20s compared to the 40s. Bondurant didn’t bite, knowing what it would have meant for the GOP overall, and joined a unified Republican conference in opposing it. Bondurant may have lost the battle, but conservatives look like they have won the war.
Other members like Greg Snowden and Bill Denny will be back after fighting off very difficult challenges from Democrats. They were in a very similar situation to Bondurant; again putting personal interests aside. If you are happy with Tuesday’s results, you owe these men a thank you.
Another Republican incumbent who looks like he has lost is Jim Ellington in Hinds county. After absentees were counted he closed on Brad Oberhousen, but not enough to take the lead. Ellington could tell you stories about when you could count the number of House Republicans on one hand. It is sad that he won’t be there when the GOP finally takes the Speaker’s gavel, but I am sure he is happy with the way everything is ending up.
On that note, I am going to take the next week off from the blog. I know we still have a few races to be called, but it will take a large trunk load of votes to switch the outcomes in HD 28, HD 93, and HD 121. Republicans will choose their nominee for Speaker early next week, and if things go as planned that man or woman will be the next Speaker of the House. The five most likely to seek the nomination are Jeff Smith of Columbus, Mark Formby of Picayune, Herb Frierson of Poplarville, Philip Gunn of Clinton and John Moore of Brandon.
By the way, in addition to the Mississippi House flipping Republicans took control of the Virginia Senate. This means there are now 27 states with a fully Republican legislature, compared to 15 with Democrats in control and seven split. Also with Mississippi and Virginia changing, the only state in the South where Republicans don’t control both houses is Arkansas, check back next November. (Kentucky doesn’t either if you consider that the South).
We will see you soon.