By Chuck Bailey
The Choctaw Plaindealer
With the beginning of the Republican National Convention next week in Cleveland, Ohio, counties throughout Mississippi started months ago planning and electing delegates to represent them at the State Republican Convention in Jackson Saturday, May 14.
The Democratic Party has had strong ties to Choctaw County for years. Electing two governors from our county; first was Gov. J.P Coleman in 1956 and then Gov. Ray Mabus in 1988.
Also, small rural counties in Mississippi, such as ours, have typically had politicians who run as democrats, because that is just the way it’s been for over a century.
Rep. Joey Hood has seen some success running as a republican, but he will be the first to tell you it is tough coming out of that first race in August when most everybody is voting in the Democratic primary so they can elect candidates that are almost always running as democrats.
Times are changing and as values change so do peoples’ political ties.
The Choctaw County Republican party has recently seen an increase in participation in the election process.
The last countywide races saw an increase in republicans running for office, with nine running for six offices. The most ever in Choctaw County. Of those, the first ever county wide republican candidate was elected, Amy Burdine to Circuit clerk.
The Choctaw County Republican Party held a meeting April 19, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. at the Choctaw County Courthouse. Chairman of the executive committee, Shannon Crow, was pleased with the turnout.
“Never have we had as many involved as here today. Four years ago, I sat in the parking lot waiting for someone to show up.”
Move ahead four years and the boardroom has participants from all over the county.
During the March 8, 2016 Choctaw County presidential primary elections, 1608 voters in Choctaw County voted republican verses 635 that voted democrat.
During the meeting held April 19 republicans were given instructions on voting in the county republican precinct caucus. The republican precinct caucuses were held in every county in Mississippi Saturday, April 23.
The only requirement to participate was that you had to be a registered voter.
The precinct causes were held in the morning at 10:00 a.m. Voters got to go to their regular voting location and vote for a precinct captain and an alternate. The precinct captains then met later that afternoon at 3:00 p.m. at the county convention to vote for the County Executive Committee and the State Republican Convention delegates and alternatives to go the the convention in Jackson May 14.
Trey Bowman was elected the new Executive Committee Chairman and our delegate to the State GOP Convention in Jackson.
“I was honored to be selected as a delegate and also named Executive Committee Chairman, said Bowman. “We had a great turn out for the county convention and the result from that is an excellent Executive Committee. I am excited to work with them to grow the Republican Party in our county.”
The new executive committee is District 1, Amy Burdine and Scott Broughton; District 2, Shannon Crow (Vice-Chairman) and Betty Mann; District 3, Ernest Clifford Hadley IV, Mark Caruth and Larry Burton; District 4, Wanda Vowell and Murphy Smith; District 5, Mike Thomas, Trey Bowman (Chairman) and Randy Loper.
The Mississippi Republican Party will send 40 delegates to Cleveland, Ohio next week and elect a party nominee for president. Donald Trump amidst all his controversy will be the likely presumptive nominee and whomever he chooses as a running mate will have a long impact in national politics for years to come.
Bowman attended the state convention as Choctaw County’s delegate; there he worked with other republican delegates from all the other counties in the state to select 40 delegates and 37 alternates to represent Mississippi at the Republican National Convention. In addition they also selected a new 52-member state executive committee.
Joe Nosef was re-elected unanimously to serve as the Mississippi Republican Party’s Chairman for four more years.
Henry Barbour and Jeanne Luckey were re-elected as the Republican National Committee Members from Mississippi and six electors were named to cast Mississippi’s votes for president and vice president in the Electoral College.
Delegates, alternates and guests to the state convention heard from Governor Phil Bryant and several notable republicans in Mississippi state government. The 2016 Mississippi delegates and alternate delegates to the Republican National Convention are:
Delegates: Roger Wicker, Trent Kelly, Keith Heard, Ellen Jernigan, Donna Ruth Roberts, Doc Holiday, Phil Bryant, Philip Gunn, Henry Barbour, Jim Herring, Tim Timbs, Gregg Harper, Lynn Fitch, Delbert Hosemann, Becky Currie, Joe Nosef, Megan Mullen, Rita Wray, Gary Harkins, J.L. Holloway, Quinton Dickerson, Charles Porter, Spence Flatgard, Wally Carter, Jeanne Luckey, Steven Palazzo, Joey Fillingane, Nell Frisbie, Don Halle, Wayne Tisdale, Brian Sanderson, Dane Maxwell, Mark Formby, Jason Dees, Cindy Moore, Curt Hebert, Alex Monsour, Lucien Smith, June Geddie and Tyler Norman
Alternate Delegates: William Alias, Morgan Baldwin, Karen Elam, Jerry Windham, Geoffrey Yoste, Kendall Prewitt, Jimmy Stephens, Norma Sanders, John Dean, Lydia Chassaniol, Diane Hawks, J.R. Jones, Stephen Snell, Bobby Morgan, Bernie Reed, Dana Stringer, Mike Hurst, Paul Breazelle, Sampat Shivangi, Hunter Foster, David Clanton, Randy Rushing, John Taylor, Terry Reeves, Jamie Peavy, Michael Watson, Joe Cloyd, Raymond Brown, Frank Genzer, Ashley Skellie, Brandon Payne, Mark Cumbest, Todd Hairston, Keith Davis, Sue Morrison, Boyce Adams and Denise Doyle.
2016 State Executive Committee:
Congressional District One: Beth Hamilton, John Caldwell, Chris Brown, Clayton Stanley, Keith Heard, Donna Ruth Roberts, Ellen Jernigan, Geneise Hitt, Jeremy Martin, June Geddie, Giles Ward, Kim Remak, Heather Fox.
Congressional District Two: Alex Monsour, Barbara Rooks Jackson, Betty Coleman, Nat McMullen, Eric Beidenharm, Henry Barbour, James Herring, John Dean, Jr., Liles Williams, Lydia Chassaniol, Tim Timbs, J.R. Jones, Webster Franklin.
Congressional District Three: John Taylor, Dana Stringer, Marnita Henderson, Franc Lee, Gary Harkins, Greg Snowden, James (Pete) Perry, Jim Armstrong, Joe Nosef, John Roberts, Lucien Smith, Quinton Dickerson, Veronica Naylor.
Congressional District Four: Ashley Skellie, Brandon Payne, Cheryl Cranford, Sherri Bevis, Anne Wood, Jack Armstrong, Joe Cloyd, John Parker, Kay Patterson, Sue Bush, Stacey Wilkes, Vivian Dailey, Wayne Tisdale.
Electors: Wirt Yerger, Brad White, Bill Yates, Joe Sanderson, Kelley Williams and Ann Hebert. “The ultimate goal is to bring awareness to voters in our county of what Republican principles and values are, said Bowman. “Our goal for the next four years is to field more Republican candidates at the municipal and countywide levels in upcoming elections. We are looking to identify candidates who share the same values as the Republican Party and work with our current elected officials to help them align with the party that is representative of their values. The Choctaw County GOP will be hosting fundraisers to help fund future candidates. We are also in contact and engaged with the Mississippi GOP. They are aware of our efforts to grow the party and lending their support.”
The first fundraiser of the Choctaw County GOP is selling yard signs with the Republican symbol, an elephant, and the words “Proud Republican.” To view and order a sign follow The Choctaw County GOP on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ChoctawGOP and on Twitter @Choctaw_GOP.
For more information on the Choctaw County Republican Party contact Trey Bowman at tjb@treyjbowman or (662) 364-8212. Photo submitted by Trey Bowman