Whatever the future holds for Mississippi’s Second Congressional District, Bennie Thompson is going to be some part of it for the foreseeable future.
The incumbent crushed his main challenger — a connected, well funded state legislator — in the June 6th Democratic Party primary, and while Republicans have high hopes for their candidate in the November general election, history tells us that unseating an incumbent is unlikely.
That said, there are a number of very important issues to explore in the coming months of campaigning. How Thompson and Yvonne Brown, the Republican mayor of Tchula, respond to these issues can play a significant role in the eventual outcome.
From our perspective, Congressman Thompson isn’t interested in the concerns of business, industry and economic development. It is unclear to us exactly what his priorities are, but tax relief and reform, easing bureaucratic burdens, boosting workforce training and fostering a culture of responsibility, accountability and independence are items fairly far down his to-do list, if there at all.
In short, Bennie Thompson is a throwback — a politician more interested, as a fair number of critics have asserted, who is more interested in confrontation than compromise.
Unless he changes, throwing off the bitter weight of a distant struggle, a majority of his constituents will continue to miss out on the opportunities that other Mississippians take for granted.
One more possibility for change — a robust campaign from Mayor Brown that leads to an upset, or in the very least, enough pressure to force an entrenched incumbent to consider things in the new light of a new Mississippi.