District 28 belonged for many years to “the Chairman” Charlie Capps, a Democrat in name who often voted with Republicans.
Certainly he put his district’s interests above party. David Norquist held the seat for a term and a half after Chairman Charlie. While Norquist was more than a Democrat in name, he, too, often crossed party lines to protect the interests of his district. Granted, District 28 has long had a low black voting age population. So to have two Democrats in the Legislature for so long is a testament to the citizens of the Delta.
With the Republican sweep of the state last fall, District 28 finally got a Republican legislator. Thanks to Rep. Bill Denny of Jackson, the chair of the of House redistricting Committee and and his new-fangled map, District 28 was thrown under the bus and into DeSoto County — 90 miles away. An important Delta seat is now dead.
To be fair, Tommy Taylor was near death’s door when he ran last fall and has been in Jackson less than two weeks this entire session, so his future as a representative has been tenuous. But Republicans, instead of using at least one legislative voice to promote their will in the Delta, are now content to dictate from Jackson what the Delta must endure.
Even Taylor showed up to vote for the redistricting map. Earlier that day he voted “yes” on the Republican’s Voter ID law. But when it came time to vote to save his own district he couldn’t pull the trigger either way. He simply voted “present” and let the state Republican Party do the dirty work of further isolating the Mississippi Delta from the rest of our state.
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