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General Election Could have Long Term Implications for Mississippi

By Jeffrey Hess | Published 04 Nov 2011 05:02pm | comments
Lawmakers examine proposed maps during the 2011 legislative session.

Each of the 174 Mississippi Senate and House seats is up for grabs in the General Election tomorrow. MPB's Jeffrey Hess reports that the result of the election could affect the direction of the state for the next decade.

One of the top items on the legislative agenda in 2012 will be redrawing the state's voting districts.

Mississippi Lawmakers failed to redistrict the state earlier this year after weeks of contentious debate.

the party controls the house and Senate will have a big say in how those districts are redrawn.

Republican representative Phillip Gunn of Clinton is considering a campaign to be House speaker.

Two-term democratic speaker Billy McCoy decided not to seek re-election.

Gunn sees a chance for Republicans to capture the house for the first time since Reconstruction.

"I think this time we will be able to push forward an agenda that is reflective of the majority of state of Mississippi. Conservative ideals and conservative values, things that are going to put Mississippi forward in the terms of job creation and economic development," Gun said.

Bobby Moak, a democrat from Bogue Chitto, is also mulling a run at the Speaker's chair.

He feels confident that his party will retain control of the House.

"I hate to put it in a Democrat-Republican type order, but that is probably the way that it is until at least the first day after the legislative session starts and then we can come together hopefully. But it sure does feel like that is what is going to happen," Moak said.

Mississippi State University in residence Sid Salter is a long time Mississippi political journalist.

He says the parties are evenly matched and control of the house could go either way.

"If the Republicans gain control, the black caucus obviously would lose a significant amount of clout and you would see some of those more moderate-to-liberal rural democrats also without a lot of influence," Salter said.

Salter says that the parties know how important every race to winning a 62 seat majority. This is evidence by their spending an unusually high level of cash and campaigning in districts that have not seen strongly contested race in the past.

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Lawmakers examine proposed maps during the 2011 legislative session.


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