With a heated primary race for Lieutenant Governor and more Republicans on the ballot than ever, GOP party Chairman Frank Bordeaux says the party and their candidates are working hard to get voters to the polls. He expects a large turnout for the Republican ticket come Tuesday.
Frank Bordeaux, Chairman of the Mississippi Republican Party, says the energy is high for GOP voters ahead of Tuesday’s primary election.
The MSGOP is expecting a big difference in turnout for Republican races versus those on the Democratic ticket as the MSGOP has become the dominate party in Mississippi over the last decade.
On Tuesday, Republican voters will see five statewide and state commission races featuring more than one Republican candidate in the primary, along with 30 House seats and 11 Senate seats with competitive MSGOP primaries.
The Lt. Governor’s race featuring current Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann and Senator Chris McDaniel has developed into the most heated and talked about primary this cycle.
When asked if the race between Hosemann and McDaniel, two well-known Republicans fighting for the same seat, was concerning, Bordeaux said no.
“We are the party of ideas, the party of discussion and sometimes it leads to difficult primaries,” said Bordeaux. “Whichever candidate wins will be the best Lieutenant Governor.”
The MSGOP chairman says the party has been focused on a variety of issues over the last several years that gravitate around economic improvements for Mississippians all across the state. Republicans have taken to the campaign trail this year to promote historic investments in education and workforce training while also cutting the state income tax.
As for healthcare in the state, Bordeaux said Republicans share similar concerns as many Democrats. However, the difference lies in how lawmakers and state leaders should address the challenges. In 2023, the Legislature approved $100 million in grant funding to hospitals to help buoy the systems. Bordeaux says many in the party believe there is a need to not only address the financial woes in health systems but also modernize the industry and increase access.
“Rural hospitals around the country are having issues. This is not unique to the state of Mississippi. We need to look at how many other states are handling the crisis,” said Bordeaux.
It is a widely accepted position in the party that Medicaid expansion, which would add more to the welfare program, is not the answer. Bordeaux added that Governor Tate Reeves’ stance on bringing good jobs with good benefits to the state will have a more positive impact on the economy and healthcare than increasing welfare rolls.
Yet, while Mississippi has had many successes in the last few years under the Republican supermajority in both the House and Senate, there are a number of Democratic candidates challenging the GOP incumbents this year. But the expectation for the MSGOP is that they will retain in the supermajority heading into the 2024 legislative session.
“Republican candidates are working hard to reach out to voters between now and next Tuesday. There is a ton of energy on a local level,” said Bordeaux.
While some Democrats believe public sentiment is shifting their way, at least on certain specific policies such as healthcare, Bordeaux says MSGOP data shows that several once solid blue counties in the state have left the Democratic Party and will be voting for Republicans in Mississippi this year.
That has been the trend in Mississippi politics for the last decade. Republicans won the majority in the House for the first time in over 100 years in 2011. In 2017 and 2021, more Republicans ran and won in municipal elections than at any point in state history, and in 2019, Republicans finally won all 8 statewide offices and held majorities on both state commissions. Over the past 12 years, the Republican Party in Mississippi has celebrated hundreds of state and county level officeholders who have made the switch from the Democratic Party.
Bordeaux says Republicans hope to maintain that momentum as long as the Biden Administration is in office while building on those successes heading into the 2024 federal elections.