Rumble in Miss.: Simpson vs. Hood

Mississippi Republicans now officially have a challenger to Democratic Attorney General Jim Hood in the 2011 election in the person of Public Safety Commissioner Steve Simpson.

Simpson, a former district attorney and circuit judge from the Gulf Coast, was tapped by Gov. Haley Barbour to lead the Department of Public Safety in 2008.

The tall, burly Simpson isn’t short on political pedigree in Mississippi. He’s the son of the late state Rep. James C. (Jim) Simpson Sr., D-Pass Christian, who served seven terms in the Mississippi House, from 1964-1992. The elder Jim Simpson died in 1994 while campaigning for his son, Jim Simpson Jr. – who succeeded his father in House as a Republican.