WJTV – Every statewide office up for grabs next year

CLARION LEDGER – Cindy Hyde-Smith came out on top. But was the #MSSen a win for Democrats, too?

“I think everybody was put on notice last night,” state Democratic Party Chairman Bobby Moak said Wednesday. “Democrats were put on notice that, ‘Hey, you can make it happen here,’ and Republicans were put on notice that, ‘Here comes the Democrats.’

“We turned out about 101 percent of the numbers we had on Nov. 6, and Republicans had about 86 to 87 percent,” Moak said. “We think we have expanded the base. We think we have widened the tent and we think we have the opportunity to grow our base a little more than the Republicans do.”

Hyde-Smith, who had been temporarily appointed to the Senate seat in April, had Trump’s endorsement and enjoyed an unprecedented three Mississippi rallies by the president on her behalf, including two the night before Tuesday’s runoff. She defeated Espy 54 percent to 46 percent in unofficial results in a race that wound up being more competitive than many had expected in dependably Republican Mississippi.

“Cindy Hyde-Smith would have won if Donald Trump hadn’t come back,” said Austin Barbour, a state and national GOP operative. “But, boy, it would have been close.”

It still ended up as the closest Senate race in the state for three decades, noted Nathan Shrader, an assistant professor of political science at Millsaps College. In more recent years, the closest Senate race was 2008, when former Democratic Gov. Ronnie Musgrove came within 10 points of beating Republican Roger Wicker in a special election to replace retired Sen. Trent Lott.

DAILY JOURNAL – Shelton criticized for Trump rally absence

Mayor Jason Shelton has fallen under fire for his failure to attend a Monday campaign rally held in the city by President Donald Trump.

When he flew into the Tupelo Regional Airport late Monday afternoon, Trump became the first sitting president to visit the city of Tupelo since Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1934.

The city’s top elected official, a Democrat now in his second term, was not present at the Trump event. In recent days, he has received criticism over his absence, including on his personal Facebook page and on city government social media accounts.

“A truly historical event in Tupelo,” Lynne London Elliott wrote on Facebook. “And our mayor was missing in action. It’s truly embarrassing.”

Shelton said he would have attended the campaign rally had he been asked to offer Trump a formal greeting.

SUNHERALD – Get ready: The fierce Mississippi Senate race may not be ending anytime soon

Conservative Republican firebrand Chris McDaniel, who failed to make the runoff cut after finishing a distant third in the Nov. 6 jungle primary against Hyde-Smith and Espy, isn’t ruling out another Senate run in 2020.

“I want to be clear, I’m here to fight for conservatives,” said McDaniel, who narrowly lost to Cochran in 2014. “If that means running again in 2020, I’ll do that, if it means running for something else, I’m going to do that…I want the establishment to understand I’m not ruling anything out.”…

…McDaniel said his political ambitions are tied to President Donald Trump, who is wildly popular in Mississippi.

He said his 2018 Senate chances died the moment Trump stood by Hyde-Smith at a rally in Southaven, Mississippi, in October and proclaimed that a vote for her was a vote for him.

“He’s the strongest politician in our state by a factor of 10,” McDaniel said of the president. “My future in large part depends on what he does and how things shake out in Mississippi. If he is going to involve himself in statewide primaries, if he’s on our side, that’s a very strong friend to have. If he’s not on our side, that would make a race almost impossible.”

Some national Democrats said the competitive race in Mississippi showed the benefit of the party investing in even deep-red states.

First Lottery Board meeting held


WAPT – Mississippi health groups still seek higher cigarette taxes

Anti-smoking advocates are renewing their call for Mississippi lawmakers to raise taxes on tobacco products in the state.

A group called Invest in a Healthier Future Coalition told reporters Wednesday that they’ll again be lobbying legislators to increase the state tax on a pack of cigarettes by $1.50 a pack. Now, Mississippi taxes cigarettes at 68 cents a pack.

WLOX – Waveland getting ready for municipal elections

The city of Waveland is getting ready for its municipal elections on December 4. Residents will vote in a Mayor race, as well as four Board of Alderman races.

The candidates in the Mayor race include:

  • Tommy Longo (I)
  • Mike Smith (D)
  • Jay Trapani (I)