By: Mike Biggs
As the dust settles from the 2015 campaigns I want to offer you my gratitude for your unwavering support of our Democratic candidates and the causes that bring us together as a party. Having spent time with and talked to voters across this great state, I am convinced that brighter days are ahead.
As we speak, the legislative and executive branches of our state government are now firmly controlled by the Tea Party fringes of the Republican Party. While disastrous as this may seem, it does should deepen our resolve.
While we wait for the final certification of the results there are many reasons for Democrats to be proud. We re-elected Attorney General Jim Hood to a 4th term and Democrats will have a majority on the Public Service Commission with the election of former state representative Cecil Brown.
Make no mistake about it; there were reasons to be disappointed. The House Democratic caucus was our last front against the radical Republican agenda. We need to rebuild just as we did last decade when we held as many as 75 seats in the house and 32 seats in the senate. We start today educating and organizing our base and re-building the party from the ground up.
On a personal note, several of my good friends fought valiantly and ultimately were unsuccessful but deserve our heartfelt thanks and adoration for their service to our state and party:
Rep. Blaine “Bo” Eaton
Rep. Sherra-Hillman Lane
We also saw several members retire this year: Rep. Mary H. Coleman, Rep. Ferr Smith, Rep. Bennet Malone, Rep. Joe Warren, Rep. Johnny Stringer, Rep. Chuck Espy, Rep. James Evans, and Rep. Clara Burnett
It is time to create an agenda that provides opportunity for everyone. It is time to set goals that every Mississippi Democrat believes are worth fighting for. I hope you will take a moment to reflect on the enormity of the challenges we faced this year and the many reasons that we can be energized and optimistic heading into the future.
I believe we will prevail but more importantly we must begin the process of preparing for 2019 now. We can begin immediately to target increased voter turnout for the 2016 elections. We need at least 200,000 more Democrats added to the voter rolls to return a Democrat to the White House, all incumbents up for re-election and gain new Democratic seats where they may be competitive.
Let’s resolve to recruit Democrats who can win for Democrats and make Mississippi a better place to live, work and raise a family.
DeMiktric “Mike” Biggs