Sid Salter: Mississippi’s GOP owes success to Carmichael

Among Republicans, Carmichael will also be remembered as a pivotal supporter of Gerald Ford over Ronald Reagan at the 1976 Republican National Convention in Kansas City. The Mississippi delegation famously split over the choice, but the “unit rule” required that the candidate who had the support of the majority of the state’s 30 delegates got all 30 votes — killing Reagan’s nomination.

Some old guard Republicans in the state carried enmity over that split for the rest of their lives.

But moderate or conservative, Carmichael’s role as a Mississippi Republican Party pioneer is undeniable, and history should regard Carmichael as a man of principle and integrity who refused to engage in the easy and mean-spirited politics of race or class.