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Identity Politics is Hurting Candidate Quality in Mississippi

Miss. Attorney General Lynn Fitch poses with former U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo, whom she failed to investigate after a House Ethics Committee accused him of misusing campaign money.

White Republican voters in Mississippi almost always vote Republican regardless of quality. They’ll vote for a man who was Lieutenant Governor during a statewide conspiracy to steal millions of dollars from impoverished Mississippi families. They’ll vote for a governor who fired the independent prosecutor investigating the theft of those millions and then replaced him with a political donor who has since charged TANF millions of additional dollars (while purporting to recover TANF’s stolen money).

White GOP voters will also reliably vote for a GOP attorney general who has failed to investigate or prosecute TANF grift or address accusations of campaign finance violations. It doesn’t appear to matter that she’s settled state lawsuits potentially worth millions for mere pennies, or that she’s hidden her work from the public by failing to release an annual report since 2020.

Here’s another thing worth noting: White voters claim Black voters unerringly vote Democrat, but they are one of the most captured voting blocs in Mississippi. This allows a lot of weak sauce to flow right through the colander, if you know what we mean. Republican governor Tate Reeves and Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch will never have the strength of character to answer un-curated questions from a crowd. They will continue to hide from reporters who are not aligned to a political party, particularly the Republican Party. Black Girl Times just recently learned that Fitch will let office staff conduct themselves as state-financed campaign employees and redirect reporters who dare to ask legitimate, problematic questions.

Above all, Fitch and Reeves will not likely show the confidence to face a non-Republican opponent on a stage. Reeves presents himself as a brittle man incapable of bearing scrutiny as his opponent Brandon Presley chases him around the state with a debate table. Fitch, similarly, refuses to meet publicly with Democratic nominee Greta Kemp Martin. She declined to answer questions from our reporter at a political luncheon this week, mere minutes after lauding her own record of demolishing Roe before an enthusiastic crowd of political allies. For slipping past her wall of handlers, assistants, and staff, agency employees accused us of orchestrating an “ambush.”

This is one of the reasons the national arm of the Republican Party need not bother reaching down into Mississippi for talent to sell its ideas, or promote the party agenda or drum up national interest. Mississippi is no proving ground for talent or ability with a dominant party so lazy and wracked by hubris. Here, top GOP candidates tremble at the sight of a public venue or a voice recorder and instead rely on rote identity politics to carry them to victory. The national GOP should never approach a one-party state like us to recruit national candidates, despite Mississippi being one of the most reliable Republican strongholds in the nation. Our dominant party is a faction of fallow runners and escape artists, and state voters on both sides of the political spectrum are worse for it.


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