Incumbent Hosemann Wins Republican Nomination for Lt. Governor

Jackson, Miss. (AP) – Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann defeated state Sen. Chris McDaniel in the state’s bitter Republican primary for lieutenant governor Tuesday, staving off a primary challenge for one of the most powerful positions in Mississippi government.

The results are the culmination of a contest that divided conservatives and turned increasingly nasty in its final weeks. Hosemann, 76, is seeking a second term as lieutenant governor after serving three terms as secretary of state. He called McDaniel a “pathological liar” during the campaign and decried the coarse tone of the race in a victory speech Tuesday.

“There are people on the internet that really are gutless. And what they do is spew venom for just people they don’t even know,” Hosemann said. “And to those people, I would ask you: When you wake up in the morning and you look in the mirror, what have you done positive for Mississippi? And I think the answer is nothing.”

McDaniel’s loss was his third unsuccessful campaign for higher office after two failed bids for U.S. Senate in the past decade. The four-term state legislator of Ellisville hammered Hosemann throughout the campaign cycle for, in his view, being insufficiently conservative.

Mississippi GOP Gov. Tate Reeves will face Democrat Brandon Presley in the November election
In a speech, McDaniel said it was a “tough night” and that he’d keep fighting for his principles out of office. He later conceded the race to Hosemann in a written statement.

“Not for a moment was I built to compromise. Not for a moment was I built to reach across the aisle,” McDaniel said. “I was able to deliver a contrast between what we believe and what the moderates or what the establishment believes. Now the people tonight have rejected that.”

On the campaign trail, Hosemann touted a teacher pay raise, millions in new funding for public education, and a budget surplus. McDaniel said the incumbent appointed too many Democrats to committees chairmanships in the state Senate. The candidates also brawled over their commitment to restricting abortion rights.

In the November general election, Hosemann will face business consult D. Ryan Grover, who ran unopposed for the Democratic nomination. The winner will preside over the 52-member Mississippi Senate, appointing senators to committees and naming the committee leaders.

Educator Tiffany Longino, who ran a low-budget campaign for the Republican nomination, finished a distant third.

The Republican primary for lieutenant governor was one of several races to watch in Mississippi’s party primaries. Republicans currently hold all eight statewide offices and a majority in the state House and Senate. Primary runoffs are Aug. 29. The general election is Nov. 7, with runoffs Nov. 28.

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Clear Victory: Hosemann Wins Nomination in Republican Primary for Miss. Lt. Governor

Jackson, Miss. (Mississippi Today) – Incumbent Republican Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann defeated state Sen. Chris McDaniel and another Republican challenger in Tuesday’s GOP primary.

Now facing only a little-known political newcomer in November’s general election, Hosemann in his victory speech late Tuesday night recounted numerous accomplishments and was looking forward to four more years running the state Senate.

“We want to build a state where our children and grandchildren want to stay and live,” Hosemann said. “… We are in in the best financial shape we’ve ever been in the state’s history. We are going to tackle so many of our state’s issues and we are going to solve so many of our state’s problems.”

Hosemann said he was trying to “temper” remarks about his opponent McDaniel and what became a nasty race in the homestretch. He also vowed to push for serious campaign finance reform, after he filed several claims McDaniel and related PACs violated state laws.

“When you have this much dark money pumped into a race — almost $1 million in the last week — it screams for reform,” Hosemann said. He also chided social media trolls who leveled attacks against him and supporters in recent weeks.

“Some of these people on social media, they spew venom at people they don’t even know,” Hosemann said. “When you wake up and look at yourself in the mirror, what have you done positive for Mississippi? I think the answer is nothing.”

Hosemann, 76, earned about 52% of the Republican primary vote on Tuesday, avoiding a runoff with McDaniel and assuring his spot on the November general election ballot. McDaniel received about 43% of the vote, and lesser-known candidate Tiffany Longino garnered about 5%.

Hosemann in November will face Democrat Ryan Grover, a political newcomer who ran unopposed in his party primary on Tuesday.

McDaniel, who in 2014 refused to concede after losing to former U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran in the Republican primary, conceded late Tuesday night at an election night party in Biloxi.

“While the road to get here has been tough, I am forever grateful for the hard work of my grassroots supports who built this campaign from the ground up,” McDaniel said. “Tonight, it’s clear Delbert Hosemann heard you, and I know grassroots patriots will continue to encourage him to fight for Mississippi values and our conservatives principles.”

The four-term state senator also acknowledged to Mississippi Today that a lack of campaign dollars likely played a significant role in his Tuesday night loss, given Hosemann spent significantly more money on the race.

“Unfortunately, the money remains a difficult impediment,” McDaniel said. “We all know the rules. Whoever raises the most money has the best chance of winning.”

Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann speaks to his supporters during his primary election party at River Hills Club in Jackson on Tuesday, August 8, 2023. Credit: Eric Shelton/Mississippi Today
Hosemann, as a well-known Republican incumbent who had served two terms as secretary of state, by most accounts wasn’t expecting such a hard contest for reelection. But McDaniel, who has developed a loyal base of largely the malcontented far-right, started his campaign against “Delbert the Democrat” more than a year ago and appeared to be gaining ground. McDaniel has used this tactic in his previous unsuccessful runs for higher office — claiming he’s a real conservative and the Republicans he’s attempting to oust are not.

As with his past bids for higher office, McDaniel supporters launched mud slinging and trolling social media attacks against Hosemann and his supporters, including a faked endorsement of Hosemann by Black Lives Matter aimed at turning off white voters in north Mississippi. McDaniel, as he has done in the past, denied complicity in such attacks.

It didn’t help that Hosemann didn’t receive support from his fellow Republican Gov. Tate Reeves, with whom he’s often clashed over policy. Reeves at one point in the primary campaign season appeared to give a tacit endorsement of McDaniel. Should Reeves be reelected governor, this portends more clashes down the road as he tries to get a Hosemann-led Senate to help enact his policy proposals.

Hosemann countered by pointing to McDaniel’s ineffectual record over his four terms as a state senator. McDaniel, although a firebrand when giving a political stump speech, has long been known by fellow senators for his frequent absences from Senate proceedings and lack of work when it comes to legislating. He’s also usually clashed with Senate leadership and his fellow Republicans, and since 2014 has authored only three bills that passed into law: one recognizing a football team, another congratulating a pageant winner and another declaring a West Nile prevention week.

McDaniel’s previous unsuccessful statewide campaigns have been marred by his supporters’ dirty tricks — which at times required law enforcement to get involved and resulted in felony convictions and a jail sentence for one.

McDaniel for this campaign struggled to raise campaign money from people and businesses inside Mississippi, but he managed to get substantial help primarily from D.C. Beltway, secretly sourced dark money funneled through PACs. All told, about $1.4 million in out-of-state dark money was pumped into McDaniel’s campaign, a PAC he created and another than ran ads attacking Hosemann — a notable record for a down-ticket Mississippi state office race.

From the start, Hosemann accused McDaniel of major campaign finance law violations and filed complaints with Attorney General Lynn Fitch’s office. Fitch for months appeared to ignore these complaints, but just days before Tuesday’s primary, she announced her office was investigating a state PAC created by McDaniel’s campaign treasurer and some of the complaints Hosemann raised.

The race highlighted Mississippi’s weak campaign finance laws and nearly nonexistent enforcement and brought calls for reform, including from Hosemann and Republican Secretary of State Michael Watson.

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Miss. AG Opens Investigation Into Pro-McDaniel PAC

Jackson, Miss. (Mississippi Today) – After months of inaction on claims of widespread campaign finance violations this election cycle, Attorney General Lynn Fitch says she’s investigating a PAC run by lieutenant governor candidate Chris McDaniel’s campaign treasurer.

The Invest in Mississippi PAC has been running hundreds of thousand of dollars in ads attacking incumbent Republican Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann. It has been fueled by $885,000 in donations from out-of-state super PACs.

The Invest in Mississippi political action committee was created in July by Wisconsin political operative Thomas Datwyler. McDaniel lists Datwyler as treasurer for his campaign proper, which has also faced claims of flagrant campaign finance law violations from Hosemann. Datwyler has a history of running afoul of Federal Election Commission campaign finance rules with several congressional campaigns.

In a press release Friday afternoon, Fitch said her office has alerted the Invest PAC of “an investigation into potential criminal violations under the Mississippi Election Code, as well as other statutes.” Fitch said Mississippi’s campaign finance law “generously” protects free speech, “But that does not mean there is no line protecting the people from illegitimate influence of our democratic system.”

“The people of Mississippi should be able to expect that those who participate in our electoral process will not seek to exploit this careful balance and step over that line,” Fitch wrote, “and in this instance, there is evidence to suggest that has occurred here.”

A spokesperson for Fitch on Friday said the office was also investigating another election complaint filed by Hosemann, and that it had looked into another he filed but has closed that investigation.

Neither McDaniel nor Datwyler has responded to requests for comment this week on campaign finance issues and allegations.

Fitch’s office said the two new investigations were prompted by complaints Hosemann’s campaign filed this week with her office.

Hosemann’s campaign filed such a complaint on Aug. 3, one of several he has made since March about McDaniel’s campaign or affiliated PACs.

The latest complaint filed by Hosemann campaign attorney Spencer Ritchie opens with, “Once again, appallingly, I write to request that you investigate further violations of Mississippi law relating to state Sen. Chris McDaniel’s campaign for lieutenant governor.”

The complaint claims that the super PAC to state PAC donations are an attempt to bypass Mississippi’s $1,000 a year limit on corporate donations to a Mississippi candidate or PAC. It says that even federal law allowing unlimited corporate donations for independent expenditures in a race would not cover Invest PAC’s actions because its expenditures “cannot be classified as independent.” The complaint notes that “the contact person for the PAC is Thomas Datwyler (and) Mr. Datwyler is simultaneously the contact person for Mr. McDaniel’s candidate committee.” It also noted that the PAC does not appear to be claiming its spending is separate from a campaign because it did not file an independent expenditure report with the state as required.

“The dark money PAC and Chris McDaniel are synonymous,” Hosemann said in a statement Friday. “They have dumped almost $1 million in this campaign in the last week to steal the Mississippi lieutenant governor’s race and your vote. Do we really think a Washington dark money PAC cares about Mississippi citizens? Vote on Aug. 8 to send them the answer.”

Fitch as AG is the only statewide official with clear authority to enforce the state’s weak campaign finance laws. She has faced criticism this election cycle over lack of action on allegations of campaign finance violations, particularly in the lieutenant governor’s race. At the recent Neshoba County fair, other officials or candidates called for reform.

Republican Secretary of State Michael Watson said he would likely ask lawmakers to give him enforcement authority. He said he isn’t seeking more power, “But when people do not do their jobs, I will stand in the gap for Mississippians” – a dig at Fitch.

The list of McDaniel’s legally questionable maneuvers with campaign money is lengthy. But one came early in his campaign, involving hundreds of thousands of dollars.

A state PAC McDaniel created received $475,000 from a secretive Virginia dark-money nonprofit corporation. His PAC then funneled $465,000 of it to his campaign.

State law limits such corporate donations to $1,000 a year to a candidate or PAC. So the donation was $474,000 over the legal limit.

McDaniel’s PAC initially hid some of these transactions with incomplete, inaccurate reporting to the secretary of state’s office. But eventually, after questions from Mississippi Today, he first chalked it up to “clerical errors.”

Then, McDaniel said Mississippi’s campaign finance laws are improper, but he doesn’t have time to mount a legal challenge, so his campaign returned the money to his PAC. McDaniel said his PAC then returned the money to the dark money group, and he shut down the PAC.

READ MORE: Hundreds of thousands of dollars unaccounted, questionable in McDaniel’s campaign report

UPDATE: A spokesperson for AG Lynn Fitch’s office has provided updated information on investigations of incumbent Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann’s election complaints filed with the attorney general’s office. This story has been updated to include that information.”

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Hosemann: McDaniel Voted Illegally, Does Not Live at Residence

Jackson, Miss. (Daily Journal) – Allegations that Sen. Chris McDaniel does not live in his legislative district and has been voting illegally escalated Wednesday as Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann called on authorities to investigate, ratcheting up the back-and-forth between the two Republicans leading up to the Aug. 8 lieutenant governor primary.

McDaniel has been registered to vote at a home in Ellisville since 2009. According to reporting by William Browning, however, the property’s water meter usage records indicated no water was used at the property between May 2020 and March 2023.

McDaniel claims the property remains his “legal domicile” but admitted black mold forced him to spend nights away from the house. He said he and his family visit the home daily.

He did not answer Browning’s questions about why no water had been used for years.

In a statement, Hosemann said “it appears doubtful that he lived in his district, which means he voted illegally.”

The incumbent lieutenant governor further called for Mississippi’s attorney general, as well as the district attorney of Jones County, to investigate these claims and “determine before August 8 whether the voters of Mississippi have been misled and its election laws violated.”

McDaniel’s campaign provided the Daily Journal with the same written statement the campaign gave Browning:

“Ellisville is currently and will always be my family’s home—where I intend to grow old in our home on South Court Street. While renovations are underway to protect the health and safety of my children, our home is visited daily by my family. It remains our legal domicile, and we have no intent of ever abandoning our forever home.”

In McDaniel’s 2014 primary challenge to U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran, he questioned Cochran’s residency. McDaniel’s current campaign has included rhetoric about election integrity and voter fraud.

Hosemann previously filed separate complaints with Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch about McDaniel’s alleged campaign finance violations. She told reporters last week those claims were still being reviewed, but there was no active investigation.

As of press time, Fitch’s office had not responded to the Daily Journal’s request for comment.

Observers, including Secretary of State Michael Watson, have complained the state’s campaign finance rules have not been strictly enforced. Watson has suggested the attorney general is not adequately using her enforcement authority. He said last week he would accept enforcement authority for his office if the legislature granted it.

Local county prosecutors technically could enforce campaign finance laws too, although they normally do not. Voter fraud is somewhat different.

In 2018, a Hattiesburg man was convicted for similar violations in which he voted in one county while living and running for state office in another. He was fined and given a suspended sentence of six months in county jail.

As of press time, the Jones County district attorney had not responded to the Daily Journal’s request for comment.

In a separate matter, McDaniel ally Lauren Smith, currently challenging incumbent Republican Sen. Chad McMahan in Lee County’s District 6, admitted to casting a ballot in a voting district where she does not reside.

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COLUMN: Hosemann, Not McDaniel, for Lt. Governor

Jackson, Miss. (Northside Sun) – Chris McDaniel is up against Delbert Hosemann in the Republican primary race on Tuesday, August 8. It is essential for those of us who have opposed McDaniel for any higher office in the past to show up for the Republican primary on Tuesday, August 8 and vote in opposition to him again. Even more than that, it is time on August 8 to show our appreciation for Delbert Hosemann’s thoughtful use of the formidable powers of the Lt. Governor to move Mississippi forward.

Mississippi in my view cannot afford for McDaniel to beat Hosemann to become our next Lieutenant Governor. McDaniel’s state Senate legislative record, as a majority of his Senate colleagues know very well, is undistinguished. Virtually every piece of legislation McDaniel ever wrote died in committee. McDaniel has been a person of little influence or substance among the Senators. My concern though is that there are so many undecided votes out there in this race. No one concerned about McDaniel’s quest to become the second-highest ranking elected officer in Mississippi can afford to stay home and take the outcome for granted. The worst could happen. We have to get out and vote for Hosemann Tuesday, August 8.

When McDaniel lost to Senator Thad Cochran in 2014, he was as ungracious a loser as any loser there ever was. McDaniel vigorously challenged his loss to Senator Cochran–who was always, but always, a gentleman–in the courts. I was one of a number of volunteer lawyers who went around to the courthouses to help audit the results for the Senator’s team. Senator Cochran was the clear winner over his Tea Party opponent. McDaniel had no legitimate or timely challenge to make. The courts soundly rejected McDaniel’s aggressive claims against Senator Cochran’s victory. I felt strongly then. After listening to McDaniel’s absurd, negative campaigning, I feel just as strongly now. McDaniel’s noise needs to be stopped once again at the ballot box. We cannot afford for the strong powers of the Lt. Governor to fall into the wrong hands.

In contrast to McDaniel’s failed Senate career, Delbert Hosemann has understood that the post of Lt. Governor in the right hands can be, and is designed to be, a powerful and important position in the Mississippi government. Hosemann has used his powers thoughtfully in the Senate to move Mississippi ahead to a better future: in economic development, infrastructure, education, healthcare, help for parents of autistic children, and helping Mississippi deal with a crisis for treatment of mental health.

One of Delbert Hosemann’s most successful programs was a 1:1 match program for cities and counties to improve water and sewer systems in need of repair. In Jackson that meant $37 million for Jackson’s failing system, which resulted in $74 million invested in the system—all in addition to the $600 million from the federal government. For all us in Jackson who found mud in the bottom of our bathtubs, and have had to buy bottled water for years, Hosemann’s work strikes a chord.

Delbert Hosemann led the way for investment of more than $300 million in teacher pay raises, resulting in an average of $6,000 for every teacher in Mississippi. Hosemann provided more resources for much needed classroom supplies so teachers would not be left to buy them on their own out of their pay. He helped invest millions in adding thousands of high-quality pre-K seats for four-year-old children (adding 5,600 new seats in four years), provided math and reading coaches for districts, and provided school buildings.

Hosemann used his position in the Senate to provide a $103 million stabilization grant to hospitals. He invested in community mental health systems—putting Mississippi closer to being able to end its consent decree status in the mental health crisis.

The choice on Tuesday, August 8 is between the continued thoughtful approach to the formidable powers of the office of Lt. Governor that Delbert Hosemann offers, and the unproductive noise and ineffective chaos that is all McDaniel offers. Mississippi cannot afford to waste time with Mr. McDaniel. We cannot afford to be passive either. Please make a point to get out of the house on Tuesday, August 8. Vote in the Republican primary to move Mississippi ahead with Delbert Hosemann.

Robert P. Wise is a Northsider.

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COLUMN: Questions Arise About McDaniel’s Honesty, Residency

Greenwood, Miss. (Greenwood Commonwealth) – There are a few issues in which I agree with Chris McDaniel.

Like him, I am disappointed that the Mississippi Senate, under the leadership of Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann, has been an obstacle to restoring the initiative process that citizens had for three decades until the Mississippi Supreme Court killed it in 2021 over a technicality.

I also agree that the state’s regressively high sales tax on groceries should be cut, if not eliminated, although McDaniel goes too far in his tax-cutting ambitions by wanting to get rid of the personal income tax at the same time.

The money to operate state government has to come from somewhere. You either have to tax income or consumption, or, as is the current situation in Mississippi, tax some of both. It may sound great on the political stump to talk about slashing taxes, but if you go too far, eventually essential government services suffer.

What bothers me most, though, about McDaniel is that I don’t trust him.

During his Republican primary challenge to Hosemann, there has been a lot written and said about McDaniel’s apparent violation of state campaign finance laws.

This past week at the Neshoba County Fair, Attorney General Lynn Fitch was pressed about why she has not done more to investigate the complaints, filed by Hosemann, about the matter.
Hosemann, as a former secretary of state, knows a thing or two about Mississippi’s campaign finance laws. But it didn’t take an expert in the laws to conclude that McDaniel’s campaign wasn’t even close to following them.

His political action committee took in a $475,000 donation from a Virginia-based nonprofit corporation that doesn’t disclose its donors. Bad enough that McDaniel, who claims to champion greater disclosure on political contributions, was OK with hiding who was trying to bankroll his campaign. Even worse, the contribution was grossly over the legal limit — $474,000 over, to be exact.

McDaniel’s PAC eventually returned the money, but not before it had first funneled most of it to his campaign and got caught trying to obfuscate the money trail through incomplete and inaccurate campaign finance reports that McDaniel tried to blame on “clerical errors.”

That’s the thing about McDaniel and the folks who surround him. When things don’t add up, they either don’t answer the questions or they try to deflect them with nonsense.

Another example was recently provided by William Browning, a former Commonwealth reporter who now writes occasional freelance pieces and also posts some of his work to an online “newsletter” that he maintains.

Browning lives in Ellisville, the same small Jones County town where McDaniel claims to live. McDaniel’s state Senate bio lists 506 South Court St. as his home, and it’s also where he has been registered to vote since 2009.

There’s no question that McDaniel owns the residence. What Browning questioned is whether the legislator or anyone else ever stays there.

“In four-plus years I’ve never seen any activity at the home,” writes Browning. “Curtains are always drawn. No lights ever appear on. The backyard gazebo … looks abandoned.”

When Browning sent McDaniel some questions about the situation, the Republican’s campaign team responded that the house on South Court Street “remains occupied and central to the McDaniel family’s daily lives.” The campaign added that McDaniel and his family spend nights elsewhere at an undisclosed location because the house in Ellisville has black mold and poses a health risk to his two sons, but that the problem is being addressed by contractors.

“While renovations are underway to protect the health and safety of my children, our home is visited daily by my family,” McDaniel said in a statement provided by his campaign. “It remains our legal domicile, and we have no intent of ever abandoning our forever home.”

Being a good reporter, Browning didn’t accept all of that at face value. For one, he’s never seen any contractors or work being done at the house, which he frequently passes on his way to the neighborhood grocery. So he made a public records request for McDaniel’s water records from the town.

McDaniel’s water meter, according to Browning, had the same reading from December 2017 to February 2018, and then the account was closed for a year. It was reopened shortly after McDaniel announced in 2019 that he would be running for reelection to his state Senate seat, but the next four years showed little to no water consumption. In fact, for 34 months, from May 2020 through March 2023, the last month Browning looked at, the meter reading did not change.

Writes Browning: “I asked McDaniel’s campaign about this, pointing out that it seemed odd that such a small amount of water, if any, had been used at the address in years, especially since McDaniel claims the home is visited daily. His campaign did not respond.”

It also didn’t answer whether McDaniel’s “not forever home” is inside the district from which he was elected.

Those are not hard questions — unless, of course, you don’t want the answers to be known.

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COLUMN: Hosemann the Better Choice for Lt. Governor

Tupelo, Miss. (Daily Journal) – I don’t agree with Republican Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann on many issues, but I do think he’s done a pretty good job as our state’s second-in-command and particularly as president of the state Senate.

I appreciate his attempts toward bipartisanship, which is something you rarely see in any legislative chamber these days. As Senate president, Hosemann controls who holds committee chairmanships, and he’s made it a point to name both Republicans and Democrats to those powerful posts.

I certainly prefer Hosemann over his primary challenger, state Sen. Chris McDaniel of Ellisville. If McDaniel’s name is familiar to you, it’s probably because of some unfortunate remark he made during his two failed attempts to be elected to the U.S. Senate.

McDaniel tries to bill himself as Mississippi’s version of former President Donald Trump, but even Trump had some successes while in office. McDaniel, on the other hand, has a scant record when it comes to legislative achievements.

The senator, who was first elected to the state’s upper legislative chamber in 2008, sure does talk a lot, though, and mighty loudly, particularly on social media. He claims to be a “true” conservative, and he scoffs at the lieutenant governor’s work with Senate Democrats.

All I see when I look at McDaniel, however, is the embodiment of dirty politics and a bully who, if elected to a higher office, will stall any progress made by our state.

I was reminded this week of the senator’s brand of politics. One of his supporters another Republican state senator, Jeremy England, of being a “groomer,” a term commonly used to describe how sex offenders initiate contact with their victims.

What did England do to deserve such a label? Well, he has the nerve to support Hosemann, and he also dressed in a pink tutu for Halloween. He did it to support breast cancer research.

Another infamous McDaniel-adjacent scandal occurred during his first run for the U.S. Senate in 2014. He challenged incumbent Thad Cochran, a Republican, and waged a vicious fight against the six-term senator.

During this campaign, several McDaniel supporters entered a Madison nursing home and photographed Cochran’s bedridden wife, who was suffering with dementia. The pictures were posted online as part of a smear campaign accusing Cochran of engaging in an extramarital affair.

McDaniel denied involvement with both the England and Cochran incidents, and I’ll accept that at face value. However, if I were the Ellisville senator, I’d wonder what I was doing to attract such extreme supporters and inspire such nasty tactics.

It could be tied to McDaniel’s irresponsible vitriol. He’s still complaining about the state flag, which was adopted three years ago, and the process that retired the racist old one. That issue, which he has signaled he’ll re-open if he’s elected lieutenant governor, galvanizes his base like nothing else.

When he’s not griping about the state flag, he’s talking about “the swamp” or scaring his base with some exaggerated “monster of the week.” One day, the monster is illegal immigrants; the next, it’s drag performers. You never know what you’re going to get.

I want our state to move forward, and I don’t think someone like McDaniel has the political capital or foresight to orchestrate such a rise. He’s too stuck in the past and too far right to ever get anything of substance accomplished.

Hosemann may not be perfect, but he’s willing to listen, open up the tent and get to work.

Contact Managing Editor Joshua Wilson at

View Original Story (July 23, 2023)

Hosemann Walks Neshoba with Cindy Hyde-Smith, McDaniel Digs into Outside Track

Neshoba Co., Miss. (Daily Journal) – A slate of weekend campaign stops highlighted the factions surrounding the two Republican lieutenant governor candidates, even as both continue to aim sharp, personal attacks against each other.

Sen. Chris McDaniel appeared in a fellow legislator’s home district and spoke in support of a primary challenger. Meanwhile, Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann made the rounds at the Neshoba County Fair with sitting U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith, whom McDaniel unsuccessfully challenged in 2018.

McDaniel insisted he was “not backing away” from a series of provocative allegations against Hosemann, including claims Hosemann was involved in an abortion clinic in Jackson and secretly conspired to draw Madison County into a new circuit court district. Hosemann denies both claims and repeated his dismissal of McDaniel as a “pathological liar” with few legislative achievements.

In Guntown Saturday evening, McDaniel addressed a political forum alongside allies Lauren Smith, who is challenging incumbent Sen. Chad McMahan in the District 6 Republican primary, and Rep. Chris Brown, who is running for northern district public service commissioner in the Republican primary against Tanner Newman.

McDaniel called Smith an “up-and-coming star” and praised Brown as “one of the best legislators I ever had the privilege to know.”

The event, organized by local propane company owner Daniel Hines, drew about two dozen people to Five County Sportsman Club. McDaniel pitched himself as a hardline conservative and criticized the current Republican leadership for not delivering enough with its trifecta control of state government. In the senate, he said, “[w]e outnumber those people 36 to 16. We should be passing everything you’ve ever dreamt of.”

McDaniel accused Hosemann of working behind the scenes in the lieutenant governor’s role controlling the state senate to sabotage McDaniel, expand Medicaid and prevent the income tax elimination.

Although speaking in Lee County, McDaniel waded into messy Madison County local politics and repeated an unproven allegation he has made in campaign speeches in recent weeks, claiming Hosemann met secretly with Madison supervisors to plot splitting the county from the judicial district it currently shares with Rankin County.

“He got caught, and he reversed course,” McDaniel said. Hosemann has repeatedly denied the claim and publicly committed to keeping the current judicial district.

McDaniel also reiterated his claims, recycled from attacks by Hosemann’s opponent in a 1998 Congressional race, that Hosemann was an executive officer for a women’s health clinic in Jackson that performed abortions. Although the clinic’s director previously stated Hosemann was not in fact affiliated with the clinic by the time it began performing abortions, McDaniel said he does not believe him.

Speaking to the Daily Journal on Sunday as he visited Neshoba County Fair cabins with Sen. Hyde-Smith, Hosemann echoed a statement from social media last week and called McDaniel a “pathological liar. He makes up stuff.”

Hosemann frames himself as experienced and realistic about state policy. He criticized McDaniel for a lack of legislative accomplishments and pointed out McDaniel has not passed a law in eight years.

“When I first ran as a Republican, he was nine years old,” he said. “You know, you would hope in those years he would have learned something, but apparently not.”

He noted he appointed McDaniel chairman of the senate’s Environmental Protection, Conservation and Water Resources Committee. He claimed despite municipalities facing federal court orders due to issues like pollution in the Pearl River and a shrinking water table in the Delta, McDaniel took no action.

“The only thing I regret about my Republican committee appointments is Chris McDaniel,” he said.

Reached for comment Sunday evening, McDaniel said he is unable to pass legislation because senate leaders refuse to let his bills out of committee for a full vote of the senate. He highlighted past accomplishments such as a 2011 Nathan’s law increasing penalties for traffic infractions near school buses and a 2013 law affirming student prayer rights.

Records show the 2013 legislative session was the last time McDaniel was the principal author for any successful substantive legislation.

McDaniel described Hosemann calling him a pathological liar as “classic psychological projection. He hasn’t told the truth in four years.”

View Original Story (July 24, 2023)

Lt. Governor Speaks at Groundbreaking for New Nursing School

Jackson, Miss. (MPB) – A 106,000 square foot facility will be the newest addition to the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson. The new building will be the nursing school’s latest update since 1999 after the Mississippi Legislature appropriated $55 million dollars to the project during this year’s session. State lawmakers joined UMMC employees for a groundbreaking ceremony yesterday at the UMMC campus.

The panel of speakers included Lieutenant Governor Delbert Hosemann, who said the medical center was important to state lawmakers.

“It’s our university… and we’ve been very supportive of them and they do great work,” he said. “They are at the highest level of trauma care, they went through COVID with us. I mean, you can look at everything they’ve done, but particularly they’re educating our doctors, our nurses and our dentists here.”

Dr. Tina Martin is the Interim Dean of the School of Nursing at UMMC. She says lawmakers likely agreed to funding the new school because of the quality of students the program produces.

“I know there are a lot of competing priorities, but I feel like The UMMC School of Nursing has shown that we’re able to produce graduates that are ready to transition to practice,” she said.

UMMC reports that the new building will allow a 25% increase in the number of nursing school graduates.

View Original Story (June 29, 2023)

Hosemann Discusses Infrastructure Match Funds at Municipal Officials’ Conference

Gulfport, Miss. (WXXV) – The 92nd Mississippi Municipal League Conference is almost complete with day two of the conference finishing up this afternoon.

Elected officials, employees, and governor candidates opened day two of the conference, sharing remarks in the opening session.

Discussions today included how to increase revenue for officials in their respective cities and breakoff meetings for mayors in each regional section of the state.

Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann tells us how over the past few years the state has allowed cities to grow in development. “We help cities by giving infrastructure money to them. We help cities by projects. We help them by paying $92 million of exemption, homestead exemption back for them. So, we are going down all the things we did to give them fire trucks and things like that. I think that’s really important to the cities.”

The Mississippi Municipal League Conference wraps up tomorrow.

View Original Story (June 27, 2023)