It appears Democrats in Mississippi are looking for a new recipe in 2016, hoping to conjure a brew that will bring them back to life.
Mississippi Democratic Trust organizer and former Democrat state representative Brandon Jones is stepping down as executive director after four years at the helm of what has become the party’s candidate recruitment arm primarily focused on recapturing the majority in the state House of Representatives.
This change comes on the heels of state Democrat Party chairman Rickey Cole’s announcement that he will not seek another term.
For all of their efforts since 2011 and specifically in the 2015 election cycle, Jones and the Trust fell flat with Democrats losing at historic levels this year.
The Trust and the Democrats were only able to wrest one House seat from Republicans while falling further into the minority and losing key members in their caucus, such as Minority Leader Rep. Bobby Moak, to upset bids. Who replaces Moak in that role is anyone’s guess at this point.
Republicans are poised to have a supermajority in the Mississippi House, pending the seating of House District 79’s representative, a feat unimaginable just 5 years ago given the 140 year stronghold Democrats had on the House majority.
Two Democrat operatives are joining the Trust as Jones departs: David McDowell will assume the role as executive director and Will Godfrey has been named finance director.
With the House firmly in Republican hands for the perceivable future, where the Mississippi Democratic Trust now focuses their attention will be for McDowell to decide. It is likely to continue its opposition research and media communications supporting its legislative members during the annual sessions, attempting to paint their left leaning policy goals with as red a brush as possible.
However, if the message doesn’t change from the Trust and Democrats as a whole here in Mississippi, changing the messenger will not help their cause.