CHICKASAW COUNTY, MS (WLBT) - Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood has officially announced his run for governor.
Hood, a Democrat, made the announcement on Wednesday morning in front of the Chickasaw County courthouse, not far from his hometown of Houlka. He was introduced by his wife, Debbie, as a crowd of supporters stood behind him holding “Jim Hood” campaign signs.
Hood had planned to make a series of announcements across the state over a two-day period, but he scaled those plans back, he said, out of respect for the families of the three Mississippi law-enforcement officers who were killed over the weekend. Two of the officers' funerals are being held Wednesday and Thursday of this week.
"Please keep the families of Patrolman James White and Corporal Zach Moak and all of the Brookhaven Police Department in your thoughts and prayers.” Hood said in a statement earlier in the week.
Regarding his race for governor, Hood is hoping to motivate voters on both sides of the political aisle to support him in November of 2019, when Mississippians will select their next governor. Phil Bryant, a Republican, cannot run for re-election because of term limits.
“I probably have had over a hundred Republicans and well over hundreds of Democrats encourage me to run, simply because they know what we’re doing right now is not working," Hood said on Wednesday. "Our economy is moving at a snail’s pace compared to the southeastern average, which is 16 percent growth since the Great Recession. Mississippi, until June, had been moving at 1 percent.”
No one else has formally entered the race, but political analysts expect Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves, a Republican who lives in Flowood, to be a candidate. His spokeswoman, Laura Hipp, said Thursday that Reeves had no comment on Hood’s plans.
“The Lt. Governor will not be commenting on Attorney General Hood’s political announcement or any other political or campaign activities today," Hipp said. “Mississippians of all backgrounds will spend today honoring the men and women who proudly wear the badge and risk their lives while protecting our communities. He and Elee send their prayers and deepest sympathies to Officer White’s family and the entire Lincoln County law enforcement community.”
Hood was first elected Attorney General in 2003, succeeding Mike Moore. He has been reelected three times, serving under two Republican governors, Haley Barbour and Bryant. He is currently Mississippi’s only statewide elected official.