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Attorney General Candidates Face-Off in Jackson

By Jeffrey Hess | Published 03 Oct 2011 04:51pm | comments
Steve Simpson calls for more debates

The two men running to be Mississippi's Attorney General are staking out their positions on major issues facing the state. MPB's Jeffrey Hess reports that the two candidates are unlikely to share the stage again before the November general election.

At a Stennis press luncheon in Jackson yesterday, Democratic Attorney General Jim Hood and his Republican Challenger Steve Simpson answered questions from the media.

Simpson used the opportunity to call for a series of four debates with Hood.

"I think it is the responsible thing to do, to participate in those type debates. And I, quiet frankly, think it is a the responsible thing for Mississippi to have the opportunity to interview their lawyer," Simpson said.

Hood has repeatedly declined to participate in the debates, saying his record as Attorney General speaks for itself.

"I am doing two jobs right now. I am trying to run an office, and I have some wonderful people who are continuing. But at the same time I am having to run a campaign. And it makes it difficult to balance both when you have a job that is full time." Hood said.

The two men are staking out their positions on critical issues facing Mississippi voters this fall.

Simpson polishing his conservative credentials, coming out in support of the Personhood and voter I-D constitutional amendments as well as promising to join the law suit against the recent healthcare reform law.

"It is about doing your job and representing the will of Mississippi who don't want it, can't afford it, and oppose it. So yeah, it would have made a difference. You stand up for the will of your client, the citizens of Mississippi," Simpson said.

Hood says he didn't join the lawsuit because he considers it a political statement that would not have made any difference in its course.

While hood says he supports the Personhood amendment, he would not say if he shares Simpson's support for new voter ID laws, only that he would defend it if it passes.

"As Attorney General, there is a statute that requires that I defend legislation passed by the legislature. As well as the constitution that would include and initiative, if it passes. As Attorney General I will defend them all to the mat. All three," Hood said.

Both candidates declined to commit either way on the eminent domain initiative but both agreed that the governments shouldn't abuse eminent domain powers.

The state general election is November 8th.






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