YP – 2022 Midterm Candidates File to Run in Mississippi’s Congressional Districts

The 2022 Congressional midterms elections are steadily approaching. Candidates have begun filing their Statements of Candidacy with the Federal Election Commission as well as their initial campaign finance reports.

It appears Mississippi’s 4th Congressional District will be the most watched race in the state as challengers are lining up to take on Congressman Steven Palazzo in the Republican Primary amidst an ethics inquiry over the six term incumbent’s campaign spending. If the rumor mill pans out, this GOP primary could draw more than a handful of candidates. It could also draw Democrat and third party candidates to the race, something Palazzo avoided in the 2020 election cycle.

YP – Lora Hunter appointed as Director of the Mississippi Office of Homeland Security

Commissioner Sean Tindell announced the appointment of Lora Hunter to serve as Director of the Mississippi Office of Homeland Security.

Before joining the Mississippi Office of Homeland Security, Hunter served as General Counsel for the Mississippi Department of Public Safety. Prior to serving as DPS General Counsel, Hunter also served as an Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) for the Northern District of Mississippi, Criminal Division, and as an Assistant District Attorney for Hinds County, Mississippi. While an AUSA, Hunter served as lead counsel in the prosecutions of various violations of federal law, including multi-jurisdictional Organized Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) cases, firearms, civil rights, narcotics, white-collar, and violent crimes. In 2018, Hunter received HIDTA’s National Outstanding Team Investigation Award for a three-year, multi-jurisdictional OCDETF case.

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YP – AG Fitch Continues Fight to Protect Mississippi Children

The Mississippi Attorney General’s Office, in partnership with the Hernando Police Department, has completed a week-long effort known as Operation Blue Rain. The operation involved the use of online, undercover, and traditional investigative actions to locate individuals attempting to lure children to meet for sex or asking them to produce child pornography.

The operation was coordinated by the Office of the Mississippi Attorney General and the Hernando Police Department with the assistance of the United States Department of Homeland Security, Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, Panola County Sheriff’s Office, Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, and the Tishomingo County Sheriff’s Office.

YP – Hyde-Smith, colleagues aim to restore 18-year-olds’ constitutional right to purchase handguns

U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) today joined Senator Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) in introducing legislation to reinstate the right of adults between the ages of 18 and 20 to purchase a handgun from a federally licensed dealer.

The Second Amendment Mandates Equality (SAME) Act of 2021 would repeal a law that currently prevents adults under 21 from buying a handgun.  Under current federal law, 18-year-old may only purchase shotguns and rifles.

“The right to keep and bear all firearms is a fundamental right that should not be restricted by the federal government.  This legislation would repeal the arbitrary restriction for citizens between 18 and 20 years old from purchasing a handgun,” Hyde-Smith said.  “I am pleased to join my colleagues in this effort to protect our constitutional Second Amendment rights.”

YP – Hyde-Smith, Colleagues Demand Biden Admit Border Crisis, Change Course to Secure Border

U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) and colleagues, who travelled to South Texas recently, today reported their findings in a letter to President Biden and strongly encouraged a “dramatic change of course to humanely secure the border.”

Hyde-Smith, who serves on the Senate Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, in late March was part of a Senate delegation that traveled to the Rio Grande Valley to see firsthand the humanitarian, national security, and public health crises at the southern border.

YP – Time Running Out for Paycheck Protection Program  

There is just over one month remaining in the Paycheck Protection Program that was extended through May 31, 2021, but given the current rate of loans being processed, funds are not expected to last through the end of May. Mississippi banks have worked with small business owners to originate new Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans since the popular program reopened in early January, and over 20,000 new loans were made in our state in April alone.

So far in 2021, banks in Mississippi have assisted in securing 63,706 loans totaling $1.8 billion for small businesses across the state, as of data released by the SBA on 4/26/2021. The average loan amount is $28,187, making Mississippi’s average loan amount the second smallest in the country. This is in addition to the 48,010 loans totaling $3.2 billion processed during the first round of PPP.  The combined total of PPP loans for 2020 and 2021 has now surpassed $5 billion.

YP – Mississippi Becomes 4th State to Allow Access to Federal Financial Aid for Career Pathway Programs

In a plan approved by the United States Department of Education (DOE), Mississippi became the fourth state in the nation to allow students without a high school diploma to potentially receive Federal student financial aid for enrolling in eligible career pathway programs at a Mississippi community college.  The Mississippi Community College Board (MCCB) submitted its proposed process for Ability to Benefit in October, and approval notification was received on April 21.

Under the plan, certain students who previously would not qualify for Federal financial aid, including those without a high school diploma or its equivalent, may be eligible for these resources.  This includes students enrolled in the Mississippi Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training (MIBEST) program.

WLBT – What’s going on with Canton’s Democratic Party? City leaders have varying opinions.

Canton Mayor William Truly announces that the 2021 Democratic primary results had been accepted by the MS Secretary of State.

While this time it’s not counting beans or reciting the nation’s founding documents, Freeman said the voices of residents in his city are again being taken away.

This time, he says the one behind the effort is Mayor William Truly, the city’s two-term African American mayor.

Freeman and other members of the group that calls itself Canton’s “Legitimate Democratic Municipal Executive Committee” said the mayor is pulling out all the stops to stay in power, including setting up his own Democratic committee to oversee the party primaries…

…He also believes there is an element of racism on the mayor’s part. The chair of the LDMEC, John Scanlan, is white.

Attorneys for candidates disqualified by the LDMEC have labeled Scanlan as a Republican and a Trump supporter. In an early March court case, Scanlan testified that he was conservative.

Ed Blackmon, an attorney for Mayor Truly, said he has documents proving that Scanlan is a Republican, has voted in the Republican primary and has donated to Republican candidates.