After 16 years as Attorney General for the State of Mississippi, Jim Hood packed up his office and headed home to Houston.

The last remaining Democrat to hold statewide office issued a statement this week thanking the people of the Magnolia State for allowing him to serve, and saying, in part, “…I showed up each day to fight for you…”

Hood’s choice not to seek re-election and instead run for Governor all but guaranteed a Republican would succeed him as AG.

Current State Treasurer and AG-Elect Lynn Fitch has already been actively transitioning into her new role, attending national meetings for State Attorneys General in Washington D.C., holding “listening sessions” around the state, and methodically working to put together her staff.

There is expected to be a significant turnover in staff at the AG’s office under Fitch.

“The listening sessions went extremely well and Attorney General-Elect Fitch is looking forward to leading the state of Mississippi as Attorney General,” Curt Hebert, co-chair of Fitch’s transition team, told Y’all Politics.  “She is planning to hit the ground running on January 9th and has a good part of her leadership team in place.”

When asked about the rumored changes in staff at the AG’s office, Hebert said, “She will be making announcements soon that are certain to give Mississippians great confidence in their Attorney General’s office.“

Y’all Politics will provide further updates on Fitch’s transition to Attorney General as they are announced.

Below is outgoing AG Jim Hood’s statement released this week:

“I am forever thankful to the people of Mississippi for allowing me the opportunity to serve you as attorney general for 16 years, as district attorney for eight, assistant attorney general for five and a law clerk at the Mississippi Supreme Court for one.  My faith in God has always been the nucleus of my belief in life, and it’s what drove me every day as AG in standing up for those who can’t stand up for themselves. Whether victims of crime or consumers who were preyed upon by fraud and dishonesty, my staff and I showed up each day to fight for you, the vulnerable, and the less fortunate.

“My passion has always been to seek justice for children and the elderly. As a father of three and a son who cared for his loving parents, I know that these populations are some of our most vulnerable, and many times, are the very ones I am describing when I say ‘stand up for those who can’t stand up for themselves.’ My staff locked up hundreds of child predators and those who stole from innocent, unsuspecting senior citizens. I am proud of their commitment to protecting the vulnerable.

“I especially want to thank my staff for standing up to out-of-state corporations who stole from our taxpayers, and in turn, returning billions of dollars to the state’s coffers. I received criticism from political opponents for this, but I am not beholden to corporate masters. The taxpayers of Mississippi are the ones to whom I answer, and I am proud to say our staff always did what was right, even if it wasn’t popular to some.

“A wonderful part of serving as AG was the relationships built with other law enforcement agencies. We could not do what we do every day without the help of fellow law enforcement. These men and women put their lives on the line every day, miss family time, and work long hours in order to protect you and yours. They do not seek appreciation, but they deserve every bit, and I thank them sincerely for their service to Mississippi.  I will continue to support law enforcement.

“God has always opened and closed doors in my life.  I usually did not see it happening until looking back in hindsight.  I will reopen my deceased father’s law office in Houston, where he practiced for 45 years.

“I believe we have left our state a stronger and safer place to call home, and I hope that you are equally as proud as I am of the work the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office has accomplished over the last 16 years. All of our achievements are due to the most dedicated folks in Mississippi who work in this office. My staff are true public servants, and I consider myself blessed to have met and worked with them.

“Thank you, again, for the opportunity to serve and protect you. It has been the greatest honor of my life. God bless you, and God bless Mississippi.”