The question for Luckett is just how much Thompson’s endorsement matters – and the answer is, a great deal in a Democratic primary.
Not only is Thompson the state’s only Democratic congressman, he’s a congressman with the ear of the White House. The current path to federal patronage jobs in Mississippi leads through Thompson’s office as the ranking Democrat and former chairman of the Homeland Security Committee.
What was Thompson’s endorsement of a fellow African-American candidate worth in 2008? Thompson’s support at the grassroots level was critical in helping Barack Obama attain a Mississippi Democratic primary win over his chief rival, Hillary Clinton. A record 434,152 voters cast ballots in Mississippi’s 2008 Democratic primary. Obama won 20 delegates from the state while Clinton won 13.