Cory Wilson – House Cleaning

A week after Election Day, the results continue to settle in. There also have been a few aftershocks as those results have become clearer. While there were no surprises at the top of the ticket, the surprises downticket were significant.

The biggest story is the complete takeover of the Legislature by Republicans, and firmly so. Before, Republicans had working control of the Senate, courtesy of a Republican Lieutenant Governor, and had a numerical majority given some party switching after the 2007 elections. Now, Lt. Gov.-elect Tate Reeves will control the chamber, and he will have at least 31 GOP Senators to help do so. Number 31 is Gray Tollison, a Democrat until late last week. Tollison, from Oxford, had been a committee chairman under Phil Bryant, and his shift to the GOP will give the Republicans 60% of the chamber.

That number is important because for the first time, Republicans will have enough votes without Democratic help to pass any legislation that requires 3/5 of the vote for passage-revenue bills, to name one category. While the Senate’s dynamic means that every Senator is an influential vote, such a large number of Republicans will relegate Democrats to a more pronounced minority party status than ever before. Expect more Democrats to jump ship in the Senate.

Madison County Journal
11/16/11