Incumbent Attorney General Jim Hood will have an opponent in the November state elections. Mike Hurst qualified to run for AG on the last day to qualify which also was his last day at the U.S. Attorney’s office. Hurst served as U.S. Attorney since 2006 where he was assigned to the corruption case of former Department of Corrections Commissioner Chris Epps.
Hood has served as Mississippi’s AG since 2003 and filed for reelection on February 20th. He is the only Democrat elected to a state-wide office.
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The qualifying deadline for the 2015 state election is February 27th but few candidates have candidates have entered. Some of the significant questions surround the statewide offices:
- Who will be the Democrat Candidate for Governor? Attorney General Jim Hood is a front-runner but he has indicated little interest.
- Who will run for Lieutenant Governor? Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann has contemplated challenging incumbent Tate Reeves.
- Who will be running for Attorney General? Will incumbent Jim Hood attempt reelection?
- Will Stacey Pickering run for reelection as State Auditor? Republican challengers Mary Hawkins Butler (Madison Mayor) and Sen. Michael Watson (Pascagoula) have already expressed interest.
A wildcard in the 2015 elections is Sen. Chris McDaniel. He is thought to be a credible Republican challenger for Attorney General but has also indicated his interest in Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of State. However, McDaniel may be more set on federal office and wait to challenge U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo for the 4th Congressional District in 2016.
The 2015 Election will be November 3rd with any party primaries 3 month prior on August 4th.
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Mississippi House voted 69-48 to approve House Bill 749, the “Statewide Law Enforcement Strike Team Act,” to create three statewide law enforcement strike teams. An initiative of Gov. Phil Bryant, the strike teams will be under the authority of the state Attorney General (currently Jim Hood) and will be composed of 12-15 municipal, county, and/or state law enforcement members on loan from their local jurisdictions and chosen by the AG. The strike teams will be geographically distributed throughout the northern, central, and southern areas of the state in each of the 3 Supreme Court districts (to become known as “strike zones”).
Republicans and Democrats are concerned about the possible abuse of police power and government overreach. Some argue that strike teams are necessary to support local law enforcement efforts in high crime areas. Proponents say that about $1.5 million will be spent on overtime and equipment.
The bill was authored by Rep. Mark Baker (R-74). Of the South Mississippi Representatives (see listing), only Sonya Williams-Barnes (D-119), David Baria (D-122), and Randall H. Patterson (D-115) voted against the bill which moves to the Senate where a similar bill was unable to get out of committee.
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