Democrat Attorney General Jim Hood in an interview with Mississippi Today on Monday stated in no uncertain terms that he would stand down any election challenge if he didn’t have at least a plurality of votes after next Tuesday’s general election.
Bobby Harrison asked, “If you win the most votes, especially a majority, would you step aside?”
“Absolutely. Whoever gets the most votes oughta win,” Hood replied.
The law governing elections in Mississippi has essentially a two part component that says that a candidate must (1) get over 50% of the votes in a general election and (2) must win a majority of state House districts. The second component is similar to the Electoral College for national presidential elections. If a candidate cannot satisfy both tenets, the Mississippi House of Representatives would vote to decide the winner.
Some media pundits have speculated that one candidate could potentially win a plurality of votes (but less than 50%) while the other candidate won a majority of the House districts leaving the decision to seat a candidate ultimately to the House of Representatives. Hood’s comments essentially assert that regardless of the House district count that he would step aside if he didn’t have a plurality and not force a House vote.
The law is the focus of a federal lawsuit brought by a group led by Obama AG Eric Holder seeking to strike the second component of the election law. The law was filed just weeks before the election.