Analysis: Personal ties matter in Miss. politics

Mississippi is still a small enough state that personal connections matter greatly in politics, and that’s evident when ex-lawmakers visit the Capitol.

Members of the House and Senate put aside partisan differences to cheer their former colleagues, often saving the loudest applause – and the occasional waving of tiny American flags – for those who’ve moved on to other government jobs.

This past week, senators warmly welcomed a man they still consider part of their legislative family. Republican Alan Nunnelee of Tupelo spent nearly 16 years in the Mississippi Senate before unseating Democrat Travis Childers in north Mississippi’s 1st District congressional race this past November.