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Rep. & Dem. Party Chairmen Discuss Future of State Politics

By Daniel Cherry | Published 30 Jul 2012 06:32pm | comments
Rickey Cole-D (left), Joe Nosef-R (right)
The leaders of Mississippi's two largest political parties are discussing their plans to succeed in the future. MPB's Daniel Cherry reports how Democrats hope to put up a fight in future elections...Republicans want to stay on top.
 
Both Mississippi's Republican and Democratic parties are adjusting to unfamiliar territory. Republicans had been a rarity in state politics for more than a century, but recently the GOP took control of both chambers of the legislature and 7 out of 8 statewide offices. Republican Party Chairman Joe Nosef is cautiously optimistic about moving forward.
 
"I'm going to tell you one thing the Republican party is not going to do while I'm there is, sit around and pat ourselves on the back about how well things have gone. I think we all realize we've got to continue to fight to maintain what we've attained."
 
On the other side, Democrats are learning their role as the minority party. In last year's elections, Democrats failed to field candidates for several statewide offices. Rickey Cole, Chairman of the party, tells his Republican opponent not to expect that again.
 
"I congratulate the Mississippi Republican Party on their successes. They have won some elections, and we've given some away. But Mr. Chairman (Joe Nosef), the free ride is just about over."
 
One issue certainly to separate the parties is whether the state will participate in the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid Expansion. Cole sees it as something Mississippi can't afford to pass up.
 
"Working Mississippians who will be covered by the Medicaid program, and for the first time in their lives, they'll be able to go to the doctor when they need to, not the emergency room when they have to."
 
Republican Chairman, Joe Nosef, doesn't see it that way.
 
"Now I understand the arguments. You're going to hear, 'Well the federal government is going to pay it all or they're going to pay a 9 to 1 match.' Well the fact is, who's the federal government? If we continue to just grow and grow federal government, it's not going to be sustainable."
 
A ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court last month allows states to decide whether to participate in the medicaid expansion.

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Rickey Cole-D (left), Joe Nosef-R (right)


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