Tomorrow is the run off elections and while most folks are paying attention to the US Senate race here in South Mississippi there is also a Chancery judge runoff between Sandy Steckler and Margaret Alfonso. You do not find too much analysis of the nonpartisan judicial elections here in Mississippi and it is interesting in what one finds when the political affiliations are removed from the equation.
Steckler took Stone County outright and won a plurality in Hancock County while Alfonso won a plurality in Harrison County. What each County had in common is the precincts with the highest numbers of African Americans broke consistently for Alfonso. For example Alfonso won the Bay City Hall precinct 250-111 over Steckler. Here in Stone County, New Hope went for Alfonso 228-149. In Harrison County Alfonso won North Bel-Aire 857-565. Overall, eastern Harrison County was Steckler’s core base of support while western Harrison County supported Alfonso.
If the 6200 Harrison County votes for Diane Herman Ellis turn back out to support Alfonso this race is done with Alfonso winning. But since it is a run-off election turning out your supporters is key. Based on the voting patterns from November 6, having Mike Espy on the same ballot should help Alfonso.
Next up is the Senate race. First we need to stop pretending this race is competitive because it isn’t. Should Mike Espy win such would be a monumental upset of the kind that rarely happens in southern politics. But since Donald Trump has polarized the Nation like no President since Richard Nixon that calculus goes out the window because all of the extra blue wave money came to Mississippi and that, coupled with an extremely weak candidate in Cindy Hyde Smith, who evidently was born with a rubber farm boot in her mouth has created a side show circus:
Dear Senator, the Camera is always rolling – Jackson Jambalaya
I highly recommend also reading the comments to that post. The fact is Cindy Hyde Smith was not the crowd’s choice for Thad’s old senate seat and her inability to think on her feet is a major handicap for a national politician. It’s a gift for the progressive side of the media and the unflattering news coverage is not hard to find.
Hyde-Smith Attended All-White ‘Seg Academy’ to Avoid Integration ~ Ashton Pittman
And then we have some tension in the media between Lamar White, Publisher of Bayou Brief and Elizabeth Crisp of the Advocate. White has been leaked several videos of Hyde Smith sticking her foot in her mouth and he has done an excellent job getting them exposure on the National media scene. Crisp was on Twitter asking the leaker to send such videos to the Clarion Ledger, the AP etc. etc. which I though was a great compliment to Lamar, which Crisp denied. Evidently the back and forth continued:
Wait…. weren't you just lamenting the fact that I received an "unsourced video" of Sen. Hyde-Smith instead of one of your friends in Mississippi? And why not ask HUD what they thought of the go-cups? But what would I know?
— Lamar White, Jr. (@LamarWhiteJr) November 24, 2018
I see Mississippi Dude even chimed in wondering about Lamar’s political proclivities but there is no need to wonder about that as Lamar has always been very open about his political views. As for why he got those leaks my guess would be the leaker trusted him to bring the two video clips to light without burning the source. If my hunch is right about the profile of the leaker, Lamar White would be an obvious choice to bring it to light, especially given his experience covering the last Louisiana Senate and Governor elections.
Some of the National news coverage has been tough for Mississippians to read including this from the Philadelphia Inquirer:
Such are the effects of a cold blooded murder where the killer is both known and scott-free. However in their zeal to tar Hyde Smith some of the National Media went way too far:
— Slabbed New Media (@SlabbedNewMedia) November 23, 2018
Cups Up, a title drawn from the wake-up call shouted at prisoners, is a story of perseverance, cleansing, and redemption. It chronicles the roller coaster life of a high school dropout, ex-Klansman, ex-mercenary, ex-felon, and ex-con, who went on to become a college graduate, a hardnosed environmental regulator, and a widely respected top executive in a company with more than a thousand employees.
None of this is to say that George Malvaney is not without his detractors including right here in comments on Slabbed but it strongly appears the man has progressed a bit from his younger and dumber early days.
One more day folks and this will all be over until 2020, where my early prediction is Cindy Hyde Smith will be primaried.
The Twitter dust up between Elizabeth Crisp and Lamar White took a new twist today with the publication of the slightly edited, full version of the hanging video posted today at the Jackson Free Press. Turns out there were two members of the media present when Hyde Smith made her remarks and yet nothing was reported at that time. This reinforces the analysis presented above as to why Lamar White was leaked the remarks, which would then become national news:
The footage reveals that at least two reporters for two different Tupelo outlets were present at the time of the remark that would cause a firestorm days later. Wayne Hereford of Tupelo’s NBC affiliate, WTVA, is visible on the video filming the appearance. At one point, Hyde-Smith joins him for a short interview. Though he is not visible in the footage at the moment the “public hanging” remark is made, a photo he tweeted that morning suggests he was still there at the time that Hyde-Smith was speaking to the crowd.
Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reporter Caleb Bedillion is present throughout the footage. In the first few minutes, Bedillion enthusiastically greets and then laughs with Hyde-Smith. Later, when introducing the senator, a Hyde-Smith volunteer offers thanks to Bedillion and the Daily Journal, though it is unclear why.
At the moment Hyde-Smith makes her “public hanging” remark, Bedillion is standing nearby with a notepad. Moments later, Hyde-Smith wraps up the event, and Bedillion waves goodbye to her.
Neither Bedillion nor Hereford reported the “public hanging” comment at the time; the comment did not come to light until over a week later, when Lamar White of the Bayou Brief received the clip as a tip.