SUNDAY MORNING WITH: Brad White, Executive Director, Mississippi Republican Party

The GOP has won every presidential race in Mississippi since 1976, but will that record hold in 2008?

Of course it will. We are certain this trend will continue. Democratic turnout has been high all across the nation this year, and last Tuesday’s primary was, proportionally, about the same as it’s been in recent years for the two parties. (In 2007, Democrats turned out much higher numbers in the primary. However, in November, Republicans were overwhelmingly successful.) At the end of the day, Mississippi voters will find Sen. John McCain to be the best alternative to the liberal message the Democratic nominee will champion. Conservatives in Mississippi will be more closely aligned with Sen. McCain’s views.

Has the GOP reached parity in city and county government? What steps is the party taking in that direction?

I’m not satisfied at all with where we are with city and county government officials. As a former county chairman, I know that a good ground game leads to success on the local level. What we’ve got to do is focus on a more grass-roots-oriented strategy.

We’re still growing rapidly in a lot of the rural areas in Mississippi. By spreading our party’s positive message, we are confident that we will continue to recruit activists in those areas. There’s really a snowball effect in place here – people respond to our conservative message, which in turn cultivates an environment more conducive to victory for Republicans. During my tenure at the Mississippi Republican Party, I’m confident you will see a marked change in our numbers on the city and county level.

Clarion Ledger
3/23/8