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Most of the time political news isn’t really news, particularly when you’re talking about who’s running for statewide office. Most of the time there’s rumor and buildup and buzz and by the time everyone is told, everyone already knows.

But every so often news comes like a bolt of lightning that no one expected. Today was one of those times when Jackson-native David McRae filed to run as a Republican for the State Treasurer’s office.

If his last name is familiar, it’s likely because you’ve shopped there. McRae’s Department Store was a Mississippi institution and was founded by his grandfather and later run by his father and was eventually sold to Saks and then ultimately Belk.

David went to SMU undergrad and got his law degree from Mississippi College. He lives in the Jackson area with his wife Katie and their two young children and they’re extremely involved in civic and philanthropic circles.

Ordinarily, an outsider with little political experience would not stand much of a chance against a sitting incumbent. However, David will likely be well funded and, like Lynn Fitch in 2011, has the means to “self-fund” if need be. With January 2014 being the last campaign finance report available for Lynn Fitch, at that point, she was only showing $59K cash on hand. Her 2014 annual report should be online soon and will take on a whole new level of importance.

In addition to being well-funded, David has hired Justin Brasell to help run his campaign operation. Brasell is a real pro and has just come off of running Tom Cotton’s campaign to unseat US Senator Mark Pryor. Brasell is best known in Mississippi for running Tate Reeves' campaign apparatus.

The hill is high for McRae against an incumbent in a primary against Fitch, but after all of the rumor and bluster for other potential campaigns for other offices, this may actually be the marquee statewide race on the Republican side for this cycle in the primary. Time will soon tell.

Posted January 27, 2015 - 10:05 am

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