***Update*** if you are a conservative you should be voting for Max Phillips today.
Here at ROM we love the smaller statewide races and Commissioner of Ag is no different. In 2011 we have a 3 way primary for the Republican nomination that will decide who replaces our good friend Dr. Lester Spell who is retiring.
The candidates are:
Max Phillips: (WEBSITE) who should be considered the clear front runner having run close campaigns for this office twice before. Most know Max as a soft-spoken and humble guy who has dedicated his life to improving Agriculture in Mississippi and is a long time Republican. This race is likely his to lose because of his built in Name ID advantage and will depend almost 100% on how much money Max is able to raise to hold off a late charge from one of the other 2 challengers.
Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith: (WEBSITE) is the new favorite of the “inside Jackson crowd” and has the slickest website (possibly not what you want to be if you are running for Ag Commissioner) but it could boost her fund-raising. We had the opportunity to meet Mrs. Hyde-Smith not long ago when she was a Democrat State Senator and we were happy to hear the news when she recently changed parties. Mrs. Hyde-Smith may in the end find that it would have been in her best interest to stay a Democrat instead of vying for the Republican nomination as GOP primary voters do not often look kindly upon those who were members of Barack Obama’s party less than a year ago.
Rep. Dannie Reed: (WEBSITE) a State Rep from northeast MS, who was in this race very early (even willing to challenge Dr. Lester Spell) who could parlay a geographic base into run up the middle and force a runoff, still relatively unknown it will be interesting to see if he can put some money into the bank and truly make this a 3 way race.
ROM is reserving judgment on this race until we see more finance reports but word on the ground from our grassroots people is that most folks are going with Max Phillips, and some of the big hitters are starting to follow. Here at ROM we are currently leaning towards Phillips but hey we are only 88.6 percent in picking MS races.
Anyway, this is one to watch as we get deeper into primary season.