MERIDIAN STAR – Hyde-Smith to focus on agriculture, military, economy as U.S. Senator

The Brookhaven Republican served as the state’s agriculture commissioner, a job she was elected to in 2011. As the first woman to represent the state in Congress, she will serve the remainder of the year and run in November’s special election to serve the three remaining years of Cochran’s term.

While Hyde-Smith admitted to being intimidated about her new role, she emphasized she’s ready to get to work in Washington. She stressed the importance of building the state’s economy, defending the 2nd Amendment, strengthening the military and continuing to roll back government regulations.


On the issue of tariffs, Hyde-Smith said it could hurt the state in the short term, however it could be beneficial in the long term. She said we should “tread lightly” regarding tariffs.

WTOK – Hyde-Smith tours the MAX, talks future plans

McDaniel, Taggart trade jabs on Twitter

 

WXXV – Chris McDaniel holds meet and greet in Gulfport

CLARION LEDGER – Could two ‘wild-card’ candidates upend a hotly contested U.S. Senate race in Mississippi?

Democratic Tupelo Mayor Jason Shelton on Tuesday announced he plans to run. Republican attorney, author and party patriarch Andy Taggart said he expects to announce a decision by week’s end whether he’ll run.

Both have been met with criticism by some in their respective parties.

Neither is odds-on to win in a no-primary special election nearly certain to go to a runoff.

But either could tilt the scales — in which direction is uncertain.

 

WCBI – Whit Hughes, District 3 Candidate tackles a 24 in 48 tour

WLBT – State Auditor explains concerns with lack of oversight for small boards and commissions

The State Auditor’s office is looking into the finances of several small boards and commissions around the state. They’ve discovered a similar pattern that stems from a lack of oversight.

There’s been a staffing and policy makeover at the State Board of Cosmetology. That’s due, in part, to troubling accounting discovered by the State Auditor in 2017.

Thousands of cosmetologists had their work put on hold through part of 2016 and into early 2017. There was a 7,000 license backlog at the Board of Cosmetology.

 

NEWS MS – Mississippi’s bridges could cause special session

Just a week ago, legislators adjourned and left the Capitol without passing a comprehensive plan to fix the state’s roads and bridges, and if something isn’t done soon, Mississippi could lose federal funding.  Recently, 114 bridges were identified for review by the Federal Government and 72 were ordered to be closed immediately.

Despite the order, many remained open, and that led to Governor Bryant receiving a call from Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao. He stated that during the call, he was told about the failure to close the bridges and that if they remained open, Mississippi would lose out on important funding.

“The secretary told me that if we don’t get those bridges closed; if we don’t stop traffic from going across those bridges, that we could possibly see a termination of federal highway funds. That is not an option,” Governor Bryant insisted.

Governor Bryant said the legislature did put $50 million into a bond package to repair bridges, but that doesn’t go into effect until July 1st, so they must find ways to quickly get the bridges closed. After the bridges are closed, they can turn their attention to a more detailed plan moving forward, and one of the ways that could be done is through a special session.

 

DAILY JOURNAL – Bobby Harrison: Transportation could be tough issue for Republicans in 2019

For political purposes, leaders in both chambers have a vested interest in trying to resolve the issue. Besides doing what most agree would be right for the state and provide additional funds for transportation, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, eyeing the Governor’s Mansion, wants a deal to prevent potential Democratic gubernatorial nominee, Attorney General Jim Hood of Houston, from using the issue like a sledgehammer in the 2019 campaign.

And in the House and Senate, Republicans want to maintain their three-fifths super majority.

Would the inability to pass meaningful transportation legislation threaten those majorities in the 2019 elections? Would such a failure bolster the expected candidacy of state Rep. Jay Hughes D-Oxford, for the office of lieutenant governor and Hood for governor.