Poll Suggests Jim Hood Should Be Next Governor

While far from being scientific, our poll on our website this week surprised me somewhat with Jim Hood being the voters’ choice for our next governor.

Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant is currently the true front-runner and his biggest opponent is likely Secretary of State Delbert Hoseman, who has yet to even declare his intentions. I thought it would be interesting to test the waters with the two of them and throw in Hood – who is not running for the governor’s mansion but plans to seek re-election as attorney general – and Amy Tuck, who is rumored to be considering a return to statewide politics.
Hood and Bryant were our big winners in our “just for fun” poll.  Hood, Bryant, Hoseman and Gov. Haley Barbour were among the many speeches I listened to last week at the Neshoba County Fair.
Hoseman is perhaps one of the more genuine politicians I’ve met. He has the talent to talk with you and not sound like a politician, which is a lot harder than it may seem.
He spoke at the Fair on his triumphs in office thus far such as getting more return for 16th section lands and  his leadership for voter identification.
Hoseman was very frank in saying it’s easy for politicians to just say we need more jobs. It’s not near that easy to accomplish.
He pointed out that 30% of Mississippi’s high school students don’t graduate and was firm in his belief that the state desperately needs an early education program (K4).
He noted that parents needed to do a better job, but cautioned that schools shouldn’t use lack of parental involvement as a “crutch.”
“No 5-year-old says I don't want to graduate from high school,” Hoseman said.
Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant used his time at the microphone to lead a Republican pep rally hitting all the talking points.
He pointed out he was prepared to join Arizona in passing strong anti-immigration laws and said he expected something to be introduced in the next legislative session.
“I’m going to do all I can to get it passed,” Bryant said.
Unfortunately, my fellow Southern Miss alum offered little other substance in his speech.
Gov. Haley Barbour, the most well-received politican I’ve ever seen at the Fair, spent most of his time championing Mississippi’s economic triumphs in recent years.
He did respond to Attorney General Jim Hood’s comment from the previous day noting that the governor was intent on waging war with the Choctaws over the Jones County “casino” proposal.
Gov. Barbour was insistent a tribal vote should be held on the $18 million “slot parlor.”
The governor concluded the extremely tame, fairly uneventful speeches at the Fair with a motivational talk for Mississippians.
“Our greatest strength is our people,” Barbour said.
He noted the state has had a poor image most of his life, but not after Katrina. He said we have to lead with an “attitude of can do and will do for Mississippi.”

You may email Joel McNeece at joelmcneece@tycom.net