BRIAN PERRY/’76 convention pivotal

Those familiar with Mississippi’s 1976 convention delegation know it created fault lines in the state GOP which have healed over the past forty years, but also divided friends which continue to be estranged: namely Clarke Reed of Greenville and Billy Mounger of Jackson.

The Mississippi delegation was officially “uncommitted” and Reed, the outgoing Mississippi Republican Party Chairman was publicly neutral although he had pledged his support to Reagan. Incoming Chairman Charles Pickering, Sr., state party executive director Haley Barbour and Mounger were solid Reagan supporters (Mounger was Reagan’s state chairman).

The Ford campaign continued to mine the Mississippi delegation for additional supporters, and to work on Reed to change his support and publicly endorse Ford.

Madison County Journal