Mississippi was once a solid Democratic state. From the days of Reconstruction until the 1960s, Mississippi voted for Democrats. That’s just the way it was. But the old Democratic Party is no more, a far cry from the days of Jefferson, Jackson, Cleveland, and even JFK.
As the Democrats moved left, Mississippi moved into the Republican camp, and with it most Mississippi voters because Mississippi is a very conservative state.
So, it is not surprising that many of today’s Republicans of a certain age were once Democrats. This is not necessarily a bad thing IF those former Democrats left the party for the right reasons and that is for principle, not political expediency.
Mississippi’s Lt. Governor, Delbert Hosemann, was once a registered Democrat. But his move to the GOP was not because the Democratic Party left him and he needed a new home to espouse conservative values. He became a Republican to gain political office, which he has thirsted for over the last two and a half decades, when he lost a very winnable race for the US House in 1998.
Now you might be asking yourself a very pertinent and important question: How can we know this? As the old saying goes: Actions speak louder than words. It’s not what a person says but what a person does that defines who they are. It is not different with Delbert Hosemann.
At no time in Hosemann’s career has he conducted himself like a principled conservative in the manner of Senator Chris McDaniel.
As Secretary of State, an important post he held for a dozen years, he did nothing about rampant voting issues, particularly the fiasco that was the 2014 US Senate primary run-off between McDaniel and Thad Cochran, where there were very credible allegations of fraud and illegal primary voting. He also tried to keep McDaniel’s legal team from getting voting records for their legal challenge. Not to mention the fact that early in that 2014 campaign Hosemann, as Secretary of State, was caught doing opposition research on McDaniel.
As Lt. Governor, he has pushed the expansion of government, particularly Medicaid, and blocked a number of conservative initiatives in the Senate, including his skepticism over the large tax cut earlier this year.
One Mississippi political reporter recently wrote this about the Lt. Governor and his fondness for spending taxpayer dollars:
“In the upper chamber, Hosemann has made his top priority the spending of Mississippi’s historic surplus in revenues, bolstered by federal stimulus cash. He’s toured the state in recent months — visiting more than 50 of the state’s 82 counties — talking to local leaders about how lawmakers should spend their $1.8 billion pot of American Rescue Plan Act funds.”
In addition to his liberal bona fides, he has attacked conservative Senators, including Melanie Sojourner, one of the state’s most conservative voices, and gerrymandered her out of her district. It is rumored that he is seeking a Senate opponent to challenge Senator McDaniel in Jones County.
In fact, he doesn’t even have a 100 percent rating with the NRA.
These are not the actions of a true conservative champion of Mississippi values; these are the actions of a true Democrat masquerading as a Republican.
Democrats see it as well. One former reporter for the Clarion Ledger penned a guest op-ed in 2017 entitled “Could Delbert Hosemann be the GOP governor Democrats vote for?” No one would ask that about McDaniel or Sojourner. No one would need to.
Mississippi needs to be wary of Delbert Hosemann. This is one zebra who has not changed his stripes!