A Mississippi-based political activist predicts Magnolia State voters will keep the governor’s office in the hands of Republicans over a well-known Democrat with a liberal record.
The upcoming November election will include gubernatorial races in only a few states, including Mississippi, where longtime attorney general Jim Hood (pictured) will face off with the winner of the GOP primary that will be decided tomorrow, August 27.
After being elected attorney general in 2004, Hood, now 57, has served as the only statewide Democrat for years in a “red” state dominated by Republican leaders and conservative voters.
Donald Trump won the state 57-40 percent over Hillary Clinton in 2016.
According to Rob Chambers of AFA Action, he would be “shocked” to witness Mississippi voters elect a Democrat who Chambers describes as “pro-LGBT” in a Bible Belt state -- and “someone who refuses to defend Mississippi’s religious laws.”
AG: Law ‘tarnished’ state’s image
The attorney general made national headlines in 2016 when he announced he would not defend Mississippi’s religious freedom law after a federal judge issue a preliminary injunction to block it.
Mississippi legislators, citing the lawsuits and fines against Christian business owners across the country, introduced the “Religious Liberty Accommodations Act” (House Bill 1523) in 2016 to protect the religious beliefs of Mississippians, especially business owners.
The issue is not a new one. OneNewsNow has reported on numerous legal fights involving Christians business owners such as Jack Phillips, the Colorado baker whose Masterpiece Cakeshop case went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Last week, the Kentucky Supreme Court heard the case of Blaine Adamson, a print shop owner who was punished by a county civil rights commission for refusing to print t-shirts for the Lexington Pride Festival.
In Mississippi, meanwhile, despite outcry from LGBT activists and warnings from business leaders fearing boycotts, House Bill 1523 passed overwhelmingly in both chambers. Gov. Phil Bryant signed it into law on April 5, 2016.
Then came the predictable lawsuit, and federal judge Carlton Reeves -- known for his liberal rulings in the conservative state -- blocked the new law.
According to Hood, the new law had “tarnished Mississippi’s image” and distracted the state from “more pressing issues” such as “decaying roads and bridges, underfunding of public education, the plight of the mentally ill and the need to solve our state's financial mess.”
Hood also called HB 1523 a politically motivated bill that “dupes one segment of our population into believing it has merit,” referring to its religious supporters, "while discriminating against another,” referring to homosexuals, lesbians, and transgenders.
In the end, however, House Bill 1523 has survived several lawsuits filed by the ACLU and homosexual plaintiffs, and remains state law.
Still another issue for Hood is abortion. According to The Jackson Free Press, a liberal Mississippi newspaper, Hood angered Democrats and abortion activists earlier this year when he announced his office would defend a six-week abortion ban passed by the state legislature.
Hood has said he opposes abortion, the newspaper reported.
Reeves vs. Waller
According to Chambers, he predicts Mississippi’s lieutenant governor Tate Reeves will win the August 27 run-off after narrowly failing to win 50 percent in a three-way primary election.
Reeves (pictured at left below) finished first in the three-way primary, garnering 49 percent, followed by 33 percent for Bill Waller (pictured at right below) and 18 percent for state Rep. Robert Foster.
Reeves is facing Waller, a former chief justice of the Mississippi Supreme Court, in tomorrow’s runoff.
“I believe it will be a pretty significant win for Lt. Governor Reeves,” Chambers tells OneNewsNow. “Of course, upsets happened in the past, but I believe Reeves will pull it out."
Looking ahead to November, Chambers says GOP voters outnumbered Democrats by 100,000 in the August gubernatorial primaries and that gives the GOP nominee an obvious edge on November 5, he says.
Editor's Note: AFA Action is a division of the American Family Association, the parent organization of the American Family News Network, which operates OneNewsNow.com.