Hewes’ committee picks — strange? Yes. Smart? We’ll see
It was less then a week ago when Tate Reeves’ campaign released poll figures that showed him with a 40-point lead over Billy Hewes in the Republican primary for lieutenant governor.
Tuesday morning, Hewes countered. At a press conference at the Capitol, Hewes revealed who he would name as chairmen of the most powerful committees in the Senate.
Here are his picks:
Appropriations: Doug Davis, R-Hernando, who has chaired that committee since Alan Nunnelee left for D.C.
Judiciary A: Chris McDaniel, R-Laurel. Joey Fillingane, R-Sumrall, is the current chair of that committee.
Finance: Dean Kirby, R-Pearl, who is the committee’s current chair.
Education: Michael Watson, R-Pascagoula. Videt Carmichael, R-Meridian, is the current chair of that committee.
Speaking of Carmichael, he would ascend to president pro tem of the Senate, Hewes said.
So let’s review: Hewes’ picks for critical chairmenships and president pro tem come from Rankin, Jackson, DeSoto and Lauderdale counties. You don’t have to be any kind of political expert to know that those are among the most populated GOP hotspots in Mississippi. Still, it’s odd, and Hewes has certainly backed himself into a corner and most likely alienated a few members (like Fillingane) of his party.
Even if you don’t put much stock in Reeves’ poll numbers, the fact remains that Hewes is considerably behind in the campaign cash race and the all-important name-recognition game.
Three weeks are left until the primary, a period Hewes called “an eternity.”
So we’ll be waiting a while to see if this was a shrewd political maneuver or an act of desperation.