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Mississippi Democrats Look Forward After Losing Majorities

By Jeffrey Hess | Published 11 Nov 2011 01:52pm | comments
Congressman Benny Thompson says Democrats must 're-tool'

Mississippi Democrats are trying to recover their footing after significant losses in Tuesday's general election. MPB's Jeffrey Hess reports that leading state democrats say the party has a lot of work to do to regain its waning influence.

Mississippi Republicans now appear to be the driving force in state politics, having won 7 of 8 state wide office and likely both chambers of the legislature for the first time since reconstruction.

Several high profile Democratic Representatives lost their re-election bids and two democrats switched parties days after the election, but executive director of the Democratic party Ricky Cole says the party still has roughly 80 legislators and will still be a relevant force in state government.

"The great problems that Mississippi faces are not Democratic problems or Republican problems. They are problems that it is going to take us all working together on. We are looking ahead and doing all that we can to recruit and engage a younger generation of Democrats as we move forward into 20-12," Cole said.

Democrats also seem to have a lot of work to do to compete on the statewide level.

Attorney General Jim Hood was the only Democrat to win a state wide office.

Hood says Democratic troubles might not just be about message, but also about money.

"The problem has been with the Citizens United decision by the US Supreme court, that has created a problem where corporations can dump money on Republican candidates and they can get their message out and just snow yours under. So that is a problem that will take some adjustments," Hood said.

Mississippi's second district congressman Benny Thompson is the only Democrat in the congressional delegation.

Thompson thinks Democrats have to get back to basics, find out what issues Mississippians care about and then offer their solutions to those problems.

"We have a two party system. I don't think anybody can have an automatic lock on it. It clearly says that the party has to re-tool if they hope to regain leadership in either one of those bodies or the Governor's office," Thompson said.

Mississippi House Republicans are already taking steps toward their new leadership role; the caucus is expected to meet today to nominate a candidate to be Speaker of The House.



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