Democrats across Mississippi have elected one of the most qualified and diverse slate of candidates to carry the party banner on June 4. The slate of Democratic nominees reflect the richness and diversity of our great state from the rolling hills of Northeast Mississippi to the gulf coast.
The PULSE is proud to stand with the likes of Mayor Johnny DuPree, Mayor Parker Wiseman, Chokwe Lumumba, Rep. Billy Broomfield and the entire roster of bold and progressive Democratic leaders who represents the best in our party as well as it’s future. The GOP may have temporarily taken control of the legislature but this crop of Democratic nominees for municipal offices shows that the Democratic Party is alive and well.
Below is a partial listing of the Democratic nominees we are endorsing who represent some of the most competitive races across the state. In a few instances there may not be a General Election opponent.
GREENWOOD- Sheriel Perkins
STARKVILLE- Mayor Parker Wiseman
HATTIESBURG- Mayor Johnny DuPree
MERIDIAN- Percy Bland
TUPELO- Jason Shelton
LAUREL- Johnny Magee
OCEAN SPRINGS- Mayor Connie Moran
MOSS POINT- Rep. Billy Broomfield
CLARKSDALE- Bill Luckett
SOUTHAVEN- Coria Williams
OXFORD- Mayor Pat Patterson
CANTON- Arnel Bolden
LUCEDALE- Mayor Doug Lee
PHILADELPHIA- Mayor James Young
BYRAM- Kevin Lavine
COLUMBUS- Mayor Robert Smith
AMORY- Brad Blalock
BOONEVILLE- Derrick Blythe
PASS CHRISTIAN- Joe Piernas
The candidates displayed here represent a sampling of all of the Democratic nominees running statewide on June 4th. The PULSE stands behind and supports all Democratic candidates who fight for progressive values, gender and economic fairness and equality and protection of the working middle class. Good Luck to all of the nominees!
While Republicans have a majority in the state House for the first time since the 1800s, Rep. Bobby Moak, D-Bogue Chitto, said it’s not the first time he’s been in the minority.
“It is a little bit of a learning curve” being in the minority, Moak said Monday where he was the guest speaker at the Mississippi State University Stennis Institute of Government/Capitol press corps luncheon. “It is not new for me.”
Moak said some legislators might be basing their votes on the fact that the new Republican leadership has yet to redraw legislative districts. He said he learned in the early 1990s as a member of the group that lost the speaker’s fight “that really doesn’t work.”
Moak said thus far it appears Republicans have established an agenda where they are handling only one item at a time.
House Democratic Caucus Leader Bobby Moak (Bogue Chitto) addressed members of the Mississippi Economic Council at the group’s Capital Day.
During his speech, Moak addressed several topics that are likely to be taken up by legislators during the 2012 legislative session including the Attorney General’s use of independent counsel, wildlife funding, and local and private taxation.
Moak noted that the Attorney General’s office has recovered $500 million in taxpayer funds at not cost to Mississippians. Moak also pointed out that several of these current lawsuits involve alleged securities violations that have depleted the PERS fund. “Just one of those cases is estimated to have cost PERS $45 million,” Moak said. With respect to efforts to restrict the Attorney General from pursuing civil claims on behalf of the state, Moak said, “I don’t know what the endgame is with respect to legislation targeting the Attorney General’s office nor do I know why in the world we wouldn’t all want a strong Attorney General but I can tell you that I have no appetite for playing political games that cost taxpayers millions. PERS will be a big topic of discussion this year and it would look pretty disingenuous of us to assure state employees that we’re doing all we can to keep their retirement program solvent while not working to recover money that should rightfully be a part of the program.”
Noting Governor Barbour’s proposed 24% cut to the Wildlife, Fisheries & Parks budget, Moak said, “We all know where this is headed. Every dime that we take out of wildlife will have to be made up in taxes and fees on sportsmen. Levying fees on things like gun ownership and reducing the number of wildlife-related jobs is bad policy.” Moak added, “Even in a tough economy, wildlife-related recreation is producing jobs for thousands of Mississippians. According to Mississippi State University’s Forest and Wildlife Research Center, outdoor activities create more than 66,000 full and part-time jobs that pay more than $1.15 billion in wages and salaries per year. This study also showed that wildlife recreation contributes $2.8 billion to our state economy each year.”
Moak also acknowledged that it may be time to re-think the way the Legislature approves local and private taxes. Moak said, “Mississippi taxpayers have been saddled with a lot of needless taxes thanks to bills passed by our local and private committees. There are taxes that were instituted twenty years ago for baseball fields and parks that were completed years ago. And that’s just one example among many of taxes that we need to re-think.” Moak added, “If we are going to get serious about budgeting and taxes, we have to look critically at all of our practices. We can’t rubber stamp a tax at the local level that would never pass at the state level.”
What we’ll do Thursday is meet and try to see who is interested in being in the party,” said Chairman Samuel Williams. “We are also going to elect people to represent the five county precincts.”
“This is going to be a huge year with presidential and city elections and we want to get a head start,” Williams said. “I have a feeling we’ll have some local candidates on the Democratic ticket this year.”
This is a good sign that the Democratic Party is serious about its future. The fact that there is this level of organizing going on in Desoto County a month before the precinct caucuses is fantastic.
I have long believed that the future of the Mississippi Democratic Party was in counties like Desoto, Rankin and Harrison which out perform all other high Democratic performing counties on Election Day except for Hinds.
Members of the fifty-eight person Mississippi House Democratic Caucus met today to select a new slate of leaders for the 2012 Legislative Session. Succeeding Rep. Tyrone Ellis as Caucus Leader will be Rep. Bobby Moak of Bogue Chitto. Serving as Deputy Leader will be Rep. Bryant Clark of Pickens. Floor leaders were selected based on Mississippi’s three Supreme Court districts. These include Rep. David Baria of Bay St. Louis, Rep. Kelvin Buck of Holly Springs, and Rep. Adrienne Wooten of Ridgeland. Members decided that the fourth floor leader will be selected by the Caucus Leader at a later date.
“As in previous elections, the vote in November sent a clear message that you have to pay attention to what Mississippians are saying. Our Caucus takes the lessons of November seriously and we are looking forward to the opportunity to work with our Republican colleagues toward real solutions,” Moak said.
In outlining the Caucus platform for the session, Moak said, “Democrats in the House are committed to putting Mississippians back to work. This means building on our proven track record of attracting world-class employers to Mississippi and working to ensure that our small businesses have the tools they need to be successful.” Moak added, “We also know that Mississippi’s economic future rests on our ability to provide a quality education for our young people. As we begin work on what promises to be another difficult budget, we will continuously be reminding our colleagues that Mississippi’s best economic development tool is its education system.”
Kentucky will host two very competitive contests for Congress in 2012, one an open seat being vacated by a Republican, the other a rematch of a very close 2010 race. Although the Democrats easily (56 percent) reelected Gov. Steve Beshear (D) in November 2011, the overall climate in the state appears to favor the GOP, with President Obama, who lost the state by 57 percent to 41 percent in 2008.
In the 4th District (Covington, etc.), four-term US Rep. Geoff Davis (R) is retiring, leaving an open seat in this usually Republican district, which is composed in large part of suburbs of nearby Cincinnati, Ohio. McCain got 60 percent here in 2008; Bush got 63 percent in 2004.
In the 6th District (Lexington, etc.), four-term US Rep. Ben Chandler (D) scraped by in 2010 with 50.1 percent of the vote to challenger Andy Barr’s (R) 49.8 percent, a difference of only 647 votes out of some 239,000 cast. Barr, 37, is an attorney and a part-time constitutional law professor.
The race in Kentucky’s 6th District could determine if Democrats gain the 25 seats needed to reclaim the majority in the U.S. House of Representatives.