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Analysis: Top 2 GOP counties could split in governor primary

The road to the Republican nomination for statewide offices in Mississippi runs through a few conservative communities. In a largely rural state of just under 3 million residents, Republican candidates’ strategy is usually to seek support in a short list of vote-rich counties and to pad out a winning margin with additional votes from counties with smaller populations. Two of ...

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BILL CRAWFORD — Uplifting Jackson forum hints at rural gloom

Growing economic trends bode ill for rural America. “We are witnessing a growing economic and political divide between urban and rural America,” wrote Axios last week, pointing to some significant data. “Roughly half of all U.S. zip codes still have lower total employment than they did in 2007….Rural Americans have far fewer hospitals, workout facilities, and health specialists….Big employers and ...

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Analysis: In Jackson schools report, tough recommendations

Inside a layer of ego-protecting bubble wrap about eager students, a caring staff and a supportive community in the recent report on Jackson’s public school system, there are a handful of rock-hard recommendations. Now, the key questions are whether new superintendent Errick Greene will adopt them and accomplish them. The report by consultants Insight Education Group is in some ways ...

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BILL CRAWFORD — Ramsey reminds us of how we could, no should, be

Civility, service, family,” award-winning cartoonist Marshall Ramsey wrote in the starry sky of his pictorial tribute to the late President George H. W. Bush. “Today, we remembered a president and what he was capable of being,” Ramsey wrote last week in a discussion of the cartoon. He noted Bush’s overwhelming, and mutual, familial love. He noted his ardent civility. And, ...

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Analysis: Espy had strong showing for Dem in Mississippi

Mike Espy lost a hard-fought U.S. Senate contest in Mississippi but had the strongest showing of any Democrat seeking that office the past 30 years in a state where Republicans have steadily increased their power. Espy, a former congressman and former U.S. agriculture secretary, received 46.2 percent of the vote, and Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith, who had been serving in the ...

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BILL CRAWFORD — Hyde-Smith trumped Espy handily in run-off

As expected, Cindy Hyde-Smith trumped Mike Espy in the run-off election to fill the seat vacated by Sen. Thad Cochran. Yes, trumped, both literally and figuratively – literally because she won handily 54% to 46% and figuratively because President Donald Trump flew into Mississippi the day before the election and stumped for her in Tupelo and Biloxi. As I wrote ...

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NANCY LOOME — School funding: What is reasonable?

What happens when elected officials undervalue public education? Mississippians – especially our children – are left at a competitive disadvantage. Communities wither and once-thriving businesses disappear. Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann recently shared the results of a survey showing that an educated workforce is by far the top priority of Mississippi business leaders, particularly of small business owners. Yet Mississippi ...

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BRANDON PRESLEY: Rural Mississippians deserve internet service the same as anyone else

Ask any elected official in Mississippi if people living in rural areas deserve the same quality of life as people living in cities and you will probably get a quick “yes” but, that isn’t what current state policy says. Internet service has become a necessity for modern life, but far too many Mississippians live in the “digital dark,” lacking access ...

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