Current Chairman of the Mississippi Republican Party Lucien Smith and prospective chairman Frank Bordeaux discussed accomplishments of the Republican party in the state over the last several years and where they hope to see it grow.
Smith, who has served for three years as Chairman on recommendation by Governor Phil Bryant, said this was never a job he sought but it has been the highest honor of his professional career.
“I’ve been a lifelong conservative, a lifelong Republican and I don’t think there’s any higher honor for somebody who believes in conservative principles than to get to lead the party that advances those principles,” said Smith.
He said they have worked hard over the last three years to convey the party’s message to the people. That message is that there is only one true conservative party that believes in limited government, lower taxes and deregulation for businesses so that they can be successful.
Smith said there have been over 100 people who were elected as Democrats in 2015 that have now switched to the Republican Party.
“There are regions of the state that had almost exclusively Democratic elected officials at the local level who have now switched over to the Republican Party,” said Smith. “We’ve also broken records in the 2018 and 2019 cycles on fundraising and voter contact.”
History was also made by the party in 2019 with all eight statewide positions being held by Republicans, a first in the state’s history.
Smith said he was in full support of Governor Tate Reeves’ nomination of Frank Bordeaux to be the next chairman and said he will do an excellent job in this position.
“I am honored that Governor Reeves has tapped me for this position. I want to earn the votes and support of everyone on the Executive Committee,” said Bordeaux. “I want to thank Lucien for his support and his hard work with the party.”
Bordeaux says his main goals are to continue what the GOP has been doing over the last few years. He plans to work to advance the agendas of the Governor and all of the statewide elected officials while growing the party across the state.
He is the current vice president/producer at BXS Insurance’s Gulfport office, where he has been employed since 2007. Bordeaux manages public entity and other large insurance accounts across the Mississippi Gulf Coast and throughout the state. His professional affiliations include The Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers, Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America, and Independent Insurance Agents of Mississippi.
Bordeaux’s affiliation with the state’s conservative party has been ongoing since his childhood. He said his great aunt was one of the original Republican women in Harrison County. She had him handing out cards for the Reagan/Bush election at that time. In his words he “grew up in the grassroots of the party,” something he says is a strength of his coming into the chairmanship.
Bordeaux says Mississippi’s conservative values are stronger than ever after the outcome of the 2019 elections and that the party will continue to reject outside national Democratic interests that would hope to deter people from the GOP’s goal.
“I believe that the 37 percent who say they identify with the Democrat Party in Mississippi, I believe they’re going to start moving to our side,” said Bordeaux.
If confirmed, Bordeaux says he hopes to work closely with Lucien and party staff to see the issues that the party currently faces in the state and how to continue to work to combat them.
The official selection of the Chairman is left to the Executive Committee. They will be asked to confirm Bordeaux for the position. Smith said that meeting will be called next week, and he fully anticipates them to vote favorably.
The position as Chairman of the GOP is unpaid, which requires individuals to maintain a day job while putting in the hours to advance the party.