News and Commentary

Age Of Trump: Eight Mississippi Elected Officials Leave Dems, Independents, Join GOP
President Donald Trump speaks during a rally at the Tupelo Regional Airport, November 26, 2018 in Tupelo, Mississippi.
Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Sensing the sentiment in their state has swung toward the GOP, eight Mississippi political office holders who were either Democrats or Independents have joined the Republican Party.

“We have had a relentless focus on switching conservative Democrats over to the Republican party,” Mississippi Republican Party Chairman Lucien Smith said of the flurry of politicians looking for a safe haven. He added, “They recognize increasingly that there is only one party that represents the conservative values of our state and that is the Republican party,” as WLBT reported.

Mississippi GOP governor Governor Tate Reeves echoed, “We are in a scenario in this country where you can choose to be a member of the party led by Donald J. Trump or you can choose to be a member of the socialist Democratic party led by Bernie Sanders.”

Millsaps Department of Government and Politics chairman Dr. Nathan Shrader chimed in, “They have a plausible argument to make with these elected officials that your constituent are already aligning with us, the voting patterns in your district are moving in our direction, you should join the team too.”

 The eight people joining the GOP include these former Democrats: Matt Sullivan, District Attorney for the Thirteenth Circuit Court District; Cindy Austin, Chancery Clerk; Anthony Grayson, Circuit Clerk; Mary Lou Powell, Tax Assessor-Collector; Danny Arender, Beat 4 Supervisor, and Hulon West, Justice Court Judge for the Southern District of Smith County

The Independents joining the GOP are Guy Easterling, Chancery Clerk, and Bobby Wayne Mooney, Justice Court Judge for the Northern District of Covington County.

Sullivan stated, “There are conservatives Democrats all across the state of Mississippi and there was once upon a time when the conservative Democrats controlled this state. It’s a new day in Mississippi and I believe the Republican party is growing and there’s a place in the Republican party for people like me.”

As The Daily Wire reported last week, more Republicans than any time in history have filed federal paperwork to run for either the U.S. House of Representatives or the U.S. Senate.

In 2018, the surge in applications came from the Democratic side of the ledger, but for the 2020 election, the surge is coming from the GOP. As Fox News noted, “In 2019 alone, 781 Republicans filed federal paperwork to run for the House, the most ever recorded in an odd year at the Federal Election Commission. That’s up from 593 GOP candidates in 2017, when Democrats had an astounding 937 candidates at the same point.”

Fox News added, “The total number of House and Senate candidates reached an off-year record at 1,761, according to the FEC report obtained by Fox News, shattering the 2017 record of 1,739 candidates that was fueled by a wave of Democrats, especially women. This time, based on the latest data, more Republicans are running than Democrats — with 874 total candidates compared with Democrats’ 842.”

Sarah Bryner, research director at the Center for Responsive Politics, told Fox News,“It’s all about enthusiasm driven by the president, both negative and positive. [Republicans] also saw the Democrats do it last cycle. So they know that it is possible. They saw some seats picked off that I think shocked the party and the public. They want to get those back.”