At the last hour, my opponent for the Democratic nomination has charged my candidacy is supported and financed by the state Republican Party. He alleges the Republican Party, on my behalf, has made fraudulent telephone calls to voters and engaged in other misleading actions to help assure I win the nomination on Tuesday. He alleges this activity is being undertaken in the belief that I will be the easiest Democratic candidate for the Republican Party to beat.
In recent months I have visited with each of you and your staffs. I could do this because you know me from my years of public service and know that my candidacy for State Auditor is based solely on my wish to put twenty-three years of pubic auditing experience into service for the people of Mississippi. My only interest is in doing a credible job that will give the people of Mississippi confidence in their government and assurance that their tax dollars are used wisely and appropriately. I have stated publicly that I have no other political agenda or aspirations. The State Auditor’s office will not be a stepping stone for me. My only goal is to have the State Auditor fully perform the role it is assigned by our state’s Constitution.
In the first primary I received more votes than my opponent, but not enough to win the nomination outright. My win has surprised everyone in Mississippi; overnight I became the “Cinderella candidate” and the “little engine that could.” My election night-showing has already garnered me more favorable publicity than any political party or faction could buy. I have proven that a one-man campaign, with virtually no money and organization, can appeal to the voters based on knowledge, experience, integrity and forthrightness. I have also shown that trust and friendships formed over long years of public service are more important to Mississippi voters than the political establishment’s dirty tricks.
I may not have run my campaign by the “textbook,” but it has certainly been run as an “open book.” All of my campaign finance reports have been complete and filed on time. My opponent’s have not. If you want to see where I’ve spent my money you can; with him, you can’t.
For all of us, Tuesday’s vote will be important. You know me and you know the kind of job I will do for our state. If you hear these whispered rumors and wild accusations, ask yourself this: “If what they’re saying about Mike Sumrall is true, why did he spend the whole spring and hot summer traveling to every county seat in Mississippi to ask for my vote and support?” The answer is that “without your vote and support, I cannot get elected; without your confidence and trust I cannot do the job you want done.”
I hope I can continue to rely on your vote and support next Tuesday.