This morning I start with Jackson County where a grass roots movement of Singing River Health System retirees coupled with disenfranchised Vancleave residents flexing their new found political muscle has resulted in some big changes:
Two longtime Jackson County supervisors defeated ~ Warren Kulo
Last night Trudy Nelson of SRHS Hopes and I traded text messages. The impression I got was the retirees would be spending the evening enjoying the results of their hard work before hitting the grind again today. I took this no nonsense approach to be very bad news for Sups Cumbest and Ross, who find themselves in runoffs that promise to be bruising battles. That same message permeates SRHS Watch’s election post this morning:
You have read, researched, educated yourself and made your voice heard. Congratulations. You have proven that defeat is what faces those who seek to betray the public trust.
Tonight’s victory should be savored, but only ever so shortly.
There lies ahead much work. Three weeks until run off elections. Weeks of depositions and legal wrangling. Five more months with the current Board of Supervisors.
Last month I, along with Slabbed New Media’s Assistant Manager for Community Engagement attended a Saturday evening meeting Trudy and the Gang at the SRHS Hopes Facebook Group organized for the media covering the Jackson County election. From that meeting with what are essentially a group of very dedicated volunteers looking to improve their local communities, a coherent, independent main stream and social media message would emerge. There were no candidates in attendance that night and no one in attendance was pushing any particular candidate beyond change. By that time Slabbed New Media already had both the McKay/Ocean Springs High School post largely composed along with the one about the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office pension disaster. I thought about that meet up yesterday as I read Biloxi Blue’s comment on the election. The paid election coms consultants in Jackson County never saw us coming.
Last night I got a communication from Jackson that let me know that is no longer the case as the Jackson County election results can’t be ignored. There was also a prediction I made about Hancock County District 3 Supervisor that came to fruition as well and that brings me to Hancock County:
Big changes on Board of Supervisors ~ Dwayne Bremer
Hancock County District Five supervisor now goes to a runoff election and the incumbent, Tony Wayne Ladner is in trouble with a mere 34 vote lead over his runoff opponent Bo Ladner.
Maybe in the remaining time the current board has in office, they can address the transparency issues that certainly cost the ones running for re-election some votes:
Guest Post: How Long Does Transparency Take in Hancock County??? ~ Lana Noonan, Hancock County Alliance for Good Government
Next up is the race in Harrison County that was certainly Slabbed worthy but one we could not cover due to time constraints:
There is a lot of dissatisfaction among the rank and file deputies with Sheriff Brisolara and it showed yesterday at the ballot box. Peterson’s grassroots ground game in western Harrison County was both manifest and impressive. Sheriff Brisolara is in real trouble of losing his job in three weeks.
Finally this brings me to the primary election for State Auditor and the lone disappointment in an otherwise stellar evening though it did not surprise me:
— Margaret Ann Morgan (@Margaret_AnnM) August 5, 2015
There is a lot if information packed into Morgan’s image of Auditor Pickering as he addresses his supporters in victory last night. The youngest son’s stink eye toward the camera is precious, for lack of a better term. The election, along with the recent publicity surrounding the news that the FBI is looking at Auditor Pickering and his campaign funds has certainly taken a toll. Now that the primary election is over I’ll confirm that Slabbed New Media has confirmed the Pickering FBI investigation through our own sources in central Mississippi.
The only tidbit that would be news in this disclosure is that aspects of what is being looked at by the Feds has not completely surfaced in the media but the information was not specific. No one knows where this is all going to go and that is the source of my heartburn because I’d prefer to elect my State Auditor rather than having one anointed by Governor Phil Bryant and that is what will happen if Auditor Pickering gets indicted. It’d also be the ultimate irony because the same situation is how Mississippi ended up with Governor Bryant back almost 20 years ago, then as Auditor Bryant.
Finally there is a bit of background for those wondering how Pickering survived the primary under such a cloud. I think the answer lies way back in the past when the man we all now know as Judge Pickering delivered the Mississippi Southern Baptist convention to Trent Lott during his first Senatorial run way back in the day. The resultant political marriage and the alliances forged all those years ago has spanned the generations folks. It also did not hurt that Pickering’s opponent, Mary Butler Hawkins did not do much TV advertising and is largely a political unknown away from the Jackson metro area.
In any event we have one round of voting down with two more to go. I think more changes are in store for the Coast’s County political establishments.