President Donald Trump announced his choices Thursday to become the top federal prosecutors in Mississippi.
In the southern half of the state, he selected Mike Hurst, a former assistant U.S. attorney and Republican who lost a 2015 election for Mississippi Attorney General to Democratic incumbent Jim Hood. In the northern half of the state, Trump is tapping William “Chad” Lamar, an assistant U.S. attorney in the Oxford office since 1991 who now leads the northern district’s criminal division.
Both Hurst and Lamar referred comment to the Justice Department. Each must be confirmed by the Senate once formally nominated.
Hurst currently directs the Mississippi Justice Institute, a unit of the conservative-leaning Mississippi Center for Public Policy. He was a federal prosecutor for nine years, working before that as a staffer for U.S. Rep. Chip Pickering and a lawyer for the U.S. House Judiciary Committee.
Lamar’s mother, the late Pat Lamar, was the Republican mayor of Oxford from 1997 to 2001. Lamar’s daughter, Bridges Lamar, is working as a personal assistant for Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter.
U.S. Sens. Roger Wicker and Thad Cochran, both Republicans, said Thursday they recommended the men to Trump, and said they hope Hurst and Lamar are confirmed quickly.
“Mike and Chad are exceptionally well-qualified to take on the important and challenging role of U.S. attorney,” Cochran and Wicker wrote in an earlier recommendation to Trump. “We are confident they would serve our state and our nation with integrity and enthusiasm.”