**Update 7/28** Max Phillips was endorsed by the Clarion Ledger: READ HERE
The Neshoba County fair coverage seemed to be uneventful with all candidates staying civil AP COVERAGE HERE
Alan Lange the very accurate and respected handicapper at YallPolitics picked Max Phillips to win in a close race with Cindy Hyde-Smith running second READ HERE
Cindy Hyde-Smith was endorsed by outgoing Ag Commissioner Lester Spell
There are 2 active campaigns, Max Phillips and Cindy Hyde-Smith who look ready to duke it out for the Republican nod on August 2nd.
The amount of emails and traffic from our original post on this race received leads us to believe that there is a lot more interest in this race than most political insiders might think.
A breakdown of where the race stands right now:
Campaign finance numbers have pulled close to equal with Max Phillips continuing to hold a slight edge.
After exhaustive conversations with everyone who would speak to us off the record about the race (GOP county officers, local officials, Tea Party reps, Republican hacks and a couple lobbyists) our notes revealed common themes and phrases, the most common of those are as follows:
Cindy Hyde-Smith: is actually somewhat despised by the grass-roots because they resent the fact that she changed parties only to run for this office, she is essentially a Democrat in a Republican primary, but was an early Jackson Lobbyist favorite who was fading fast until she infused her campaign with $40,000 personal contribution and pulled in some money from Labor Unions. Hyde-Smith seems to have the support of Democrats, Lobbyists and Labor Unions but we don’t see any Republican groups supporting her right now and have a hard time imagining any Conservative backing someone who was in the same party as Barack Obama only 6 months ago, has only been in elected office as a Democrat and voted for the beef plant.
Although Hyde-Smith did get a nice article from Sid Salter comparing her to Geraldine Ferraro here
***Updated*** Cindy Hyde-Smith released her ad today 7/15/11
not too shabby really, for a normal Commissioner of Ag candidate it’s par for the course, it does some tricks to hide the fact that Cindy was not born on a farm, says “born in a Christian household” and that her daughter will be “a 5th generation farmer” and she calls herself a Republican which is a recent development but we digress.
***Updated Again*** After further review we feel that Cindy Hyde-Smith should be chastised for this screen shot, it it blatantly misleading, her father was a truck driver and not a farmer, this is trying to be too cute and this screen shot is a lie, decide for yourself:
The above statement is false and misleading
ROM Overall Grade D- for attempting to mislead voters into thinking she is a farmer.
This video was emailed to us from a well known Mississippi politico apparently someone is not too happy about Cindy Hyde-Smith and her resume inflation, so much so that they made a little video about it.
Max Phillips: Grassroots favorite and Tea-Party backed candidate who’s campaign stumbled and failed to gain momentum out of the gate has apparently righted the ship has put some money in the bank and has been quickly gaining establishment backing and winning back early Hyde-Smith backers.
And in the biggest news out of this race in cycles Max Phillips has just released his first campaign advertisement. (you heard it right folks a real TV ad in an Ag Commissioners race) We did not expect to see anything substantial out of either campaign until the last week or so.
It can be viewed here:
The ad is surprising if not shocking in how good it is for Ag commissioner candidate, it’s very funny, has great visuals, real talking points and even has a subtle highlight of the difference between the candidates (Cindy Hyde-Smith does not seem like the type to get her boots dirty). It looks to be as well produced as anything around the state right now.
If Max Phillips can raise enough money to keep this on the air he may be able to win this without a runoff. If nothing else this is going to force Cindy’s hand. We will see what she can come back with. (*update* we have seen and it is posted above… Yawn)
ROM Overall Grade: A+
This race should be an easy one to call although it’s far from over, electing a Democrat who is funded by labor union money in Republican primary to this office would truly be an embarrassment to Conservatives across the state. ROM pulls the trigger in it’s first race of the year and officially endorses Max Phillips for Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce in the August 2nd Republican Primary.
***Updated*** Dr. Dannie Reed is still around, we had not seen a sign or an ad or a piece of mail or a strong fundraising report so we mistakenly assumed that he was not pursuing the race with real vigor he dropped by and added a comment so we felt obliged to include it in the post out of equal time/fairness or whatever.
From Rep Dannie Reed: “That (sic) is Dr. Dannie Reed, Doctorate of Agriculture Real Experience (sic) , servicing and developing farmers and Ag. as a County Agent. Elected Twice as a Republican, never lost, unoposed (sic) second race. But worked every day and not a lobbyist . The people will see who is the best,”