A divided Coast handicapped Dennis, Hewes

Elections have consequences, and Tuesday’s primary should rattle Republicans on the Coast.

Not so long ago Republican voters in South Mississippi held considerable sway in the state’s GOP politics. They stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the few other large Republican voting areas of the state: the Jackson suburbs, Meridian and DeSoto County.

On Tuesday, South Mississippi’s standing as a GOP power base took not one beating, but two.

The race for the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor was tantamount to election. In it, state Treasurer Tate Reeves from the Jackson metro area defeated state Sen. Billy Hewes III of Gulfport. Despite conducting a competitive campaign in many parts of the state, Hewes did not have the Coast solidly behind him and DeSoto County was solidly against him.

Sun Herald
8/6/11