Tuesday, June 25, 2013

In Hattiesburg, "I" means "R"

It’s a funny thing but even in supposedly ruby-red Mississippi there are places where Republicans have to play games with the voters to have any chance of being elected.  Hattiesburg is one of those places and Dave Ware has played the game (almost) to perfection.

In a city that Democratic Mayor Johnny DuPree has built from being an afterthought to one of the major metropolitan areas in Mississippi, Republicans have tried to sweep in and take credit in the form of the candidacy of “Independent” Dave Ware.

Ware’s campaign, co-chaired by Rep. Toby Barker (R-Hattiesburg), has spent thousands of dollars in the black community in an effort to drive home the message that despite all the positive growth Mayor DuPree has ushered in, change is needed.  Nonsense.

Mayor DuPree has been a steady hand at the wheel for a city that has experienced positive economic growth in a state that, on the whole, hasn’t.  Changing horses at this point, for a guy who isn’t willing to publically declare his own party, is a bad idea.  Hattiesburg was smarter than that on election day and will be again if they have to be.

Why might they have to be?  Well, the MSGOP has swooped in to challenge the results of the Hattiesburg mayoral election, and they're asking a court to either install Ware as mayor or hold a new election.  Stay tuned.


Neil said...

I'm a fan of the blog and appreciate the point of view you always bring to the debate, but man, aren't you missing the big point here? Regardless of who has an "R," a "D," or an "I" next to their name, if 10% of the allegations in that petition are true, there are some much bigger fish to fry than worrying about an independent candidate (who ran a pretty straightforward, clean, and positive campaign to my knowledge) possibly receiving some backing from Republicans. Ware and Republicans had a common enemy here, after all; that doesn't mean they're one-in-the-same.

Again, I appreciate the blog and your viewpoints. As such, I'd be interested to hear your take on the allegations. This doesn't involve some inconsequential member of the party; this guy was the Democratic choice for governor just two years ago. It'd be a huge black eye for Mississippi Democrats if this election is eventually reversed.

Matt Eichelberger said...

Neil, thanks for reading and thanks for the comment. As I'm not involved in the legal contest over the election, I haven't had the time to adequately review the Complaint drafted by Cory Wilson (himself a former Republican office seeker) on Ware's behalf. I do, however, note that what Ware seeks is to have the election handed to him by a jury. 12 people, now, not the voters of Hattiesburg. That's about as undemocratic (little "d") as you can get.

As for supposed absentee ballot irregularities, remember that the allegations in the Complaint are just that: allegations.

As for whether or not this would be a "black eye" on the state Democratic Party, I really fail to see how. Even if you take the extremely wild (and socially destabilizing) allegations in Ware's Complaint as true, there's no evidence of any involvement of the Mississippi Democratic Party.