“If Delbert gets in, it changes the dynamics of the race totally,” said Pete Perry, chairman of the Hinds County Re-publican Party. “I think the biggest difference is it removes the veil that Phil Bryant’s already been ordained and crowned to be the next governor. He’s trying to give that image and is doing so successfully.”
Bryant would not agree to an interview for this story. Neither would Hosemann, who has revealed little about his intentions.
By contrast, Bryant is campaigning hard – and has been for months. By all standard measurements, Bryant heads into the race as the front-runner.
But Hosemann would be a strong contender, said Andy Taggart, a local attorney and Republican Party activist who is supporting Bryant for governor.
“He’s (Hosemann) a nonpolitical guy who has done a great job with his politics,” Taggart said. “He does retail politics very well.”
A Hosemann candidacy could be particularly helpful for Gulf Coast businessman Dave Dennis because it ups the chances for an anything-goes runoff, Perry said.