State GOP Chairman Arnie Hederman has sent a letter to Republican Executive Committee Members criticizing Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann’s challenge and vote to remove Todd Wade from the ballot in a North Mississippi Senate race. The letter:
TO: Mississippi Republican Party State Executive Committee Members
FROM: Arnie Hederman, Chairman, Mississippi Republican Party
As a member of the Mississippi Republican Party State Executive Committee you voted to certify Todd Wade’s candidacy as our Republican nominee for State Senate District 9 (Lafayette, Tallahatchie, Yalobusha Counties). Wade sought the Senate seat currently held by Democrat incumbent State Senator Gray Tollison.
Todd’s qualifications, and therefore your certification, were challenged by the Secretary of State’s office on September 9th. On September 13th the Secretary of State and Attorney General voted to remove Todd Wade from the general election ballot.
The Secretary of State has the same right as any citizen to challenge the qualifications of any individual candidate, but it should have been done in a timely fashion according to Mississippi Code Section 23-15-963. As Chairman, it is my responsibility and duty to defend the Party’s interest in this case. This is not about Todd Wade, but a matter of election law and due process. The Election Commission’s 2-1 vote to remove a certified candidate from the ballot is unprecedented and unfair to all political parties and candidates. The State Executive Committee correctly certified Todd Wade; Governor Haley Barbour and Lt. Governor Phil Bryant agreed with your decision by voting to allow Todd to stay on the ballot.
Since you sit on the Committee that initially certified Todd Wade, I wanted to provide you with the events leading up to Todd’s removal from the ballot, as well as the section (below) from the Mississippi Code related to contesting candidates in the general election.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me directly at (601) 368-8455 or my cell (601) 941.0094.
Mississippi Code (full code attached)