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A Way Too Early Look At 2015

November 30, 2011

Over the past year, I’d say the bulk of our attention has been on House races. Most saw them as the key battleground with Democrats having only slight hope in the Senate and no hope in statewides (except for AG obviously). We first looked at potentially competitive House races back in February. We looked at seven. Republicans flipped four and barely missed out on the other three. And throughout the months that would follow we did our best to support the Republican candidates but provide factual information on what was happening in House races throughout the entire state, rather than lead you on. And I think that is more useful than anything else because that information is just not readily available.

We didn’t make many bold predictions because I don’t like to, but regularly looked at the key races and even developed House ratings for all 122 seats at one point.

I don’t know what 2015 will bring, but I figured there was no time like the present to take the first look at potentially competitive House races the next time we do this thing. I doubt this will be updated for three-and-a-half years, but here is a start.

Front-line Democrats

HD 2- Nick Bain
HD 4- Jody Steverson

Potential retirement

HD 45- Bennett Malone

And right behind them would be HD 79 (Bo Eaton), HD 86 (Sherra Lane), and HD 122 (David Baria). As for Bain and Steverson, they barely survived the Republican tide in Northeast Mississippi but won nice open seats for the Democratic Party. And I still believe Malone is gone after this term. But Republicans should contest there either way.

If the Republicans play redistricting right, I would like to see several other Democrats at the top of the list.

Front-line Republicans

HD 3- Tracy Arnold
HD 13- Steve Massengill
HD 21- Donnie Bell*
HD 28- Tommy Taylor
HD 93- Timmy Lander
HD 105- Dennis Debar
HD 111- Charles Busby
HD 121- Carolyn Crawford

Generally speaking, this is freshman Republicans who were in the mid-50s and lower. Usually when a district finally flips, it doesn’t flip back, but just wanted to put them out there. For Bell, his voting record over the next four years will be a big issue. He could certainly face a primary challenge and that would my first concern if I was him.

Republicans who survived strong Democratic challenges were Bill Denny (HD 64) and Greg Snowden (HD 83). I expect them to each see a friendlier district when the new maps are drawn.

And, of course, those new maps are the major variable. Last time around, Democrats attempted to draw an incumbent protection plan for their majority. I see the GOP being more aggressive here and attempting to pick off at least a few seats and strengthen their majority under the new maps.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Scott Colom permalink
    November 30, 2011 12:09 pm

    Gunn done?

    • Bill Billingsley permalink
      November 30, 2011 6:27 pm

      I don’t think there’s much to this. Gunn is just doing what lots of attorneys would do in the same situation – advising his clients to keep quiet unless they see a subpoena.

  2. Tom permalink
    November 30, 2011 11:28 pm

    Criticizing Morrison Heights and Philip Gunn for circling the wagons after learning one of their ministers had engaged in years of child abuse is a pretty obvious play, Bill. Consider the piece written by the editor of the Associated Baptist Press. He thinks its news worthy and he hasn’t exactly made his living carrying water for Democratic causes. I’m guessing that if Dan Modisett, general manager of WLBT, wasn’t a current elder of Morrison Heights, more of us in the Hinds County area would be raising the same questions Matt has on Cotton Mouth.

    Asking questions about the conduct of priests isn’t an indication of Anti-Catholicism, looking askance at Penn State isn’t latent Big Ten hatred, and openly wondering why Philip Gunn thinks the Rules of Evidence mean churches shouldn’t cooperate with law enforcement in child abuse cases isn’t a Left-wing conspiracy. Disdain for child abuse and the institutions that cover it up is a shared value.

    Sorry, Bill. This one isn’t going away for a while.

  3. rankinlawyer permalink
    December 1, 2011 11:10 am

    Tom, your initial premise is wrong. There have never been any allegations of any abuse taking place at Morrison Heights just as there were never any allegations at Clinton High School where Langworthy also worked.

  4. Bill Billingsley permalink
    December 1, 2011 11:31 am

    Tom, am I imagining it or did you make the exact same comment on Cottonmouth? That’s where I answered it, and I’d rather not do it again here. Brett intended for this thread to discuss potentially competitive legislative races in 2015, not to try to judge the pastor or the elders at Morrison Heights. I stand by my original statement, and amplify it simply by agreeing with Rankinlawyer. Can’t be a cover up if nothing happened.

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