Next year, two leading politicians in Rankin County will be running for the most powerful job in the state of Mississippi: Lieutenant Governor. They will face off in the Republican primary. And believe me, it will be a heated primary.
On paper, Phil Bryant has the most political experience. He was a state representative from Jan. 1992 to Nov. 1996 and State Auditor from Nov. 1996 to the present. Charles Ross has been a state representative and later a state senator from Jan. 1997 to the present. Phil Bryant has more name recognition and probably more money.
I know both of them. Phil Bryant is friendlier, but he has lied to me and I have no use for him. As his race develops, I will post more information. I had the misfortune to serve with him on the Rankin County Republican Executive Committee for a couple of years (1988-1990). I could not stand him. I did not consider him to be very smart. I know former employees in the State Auditor's office who think he is a dim bulb. One former employee told me he is nothing but a pretty boy who probably gets his hair coiffed at Monique's.
Charlie Ross is arrogant and aloof, but he is very intelligent and honest. I've dealt with him before and found him to be straightforward, even though I was no friend of his. Charles Ross has served as State Senator for a couple of terms and he knows the legislative process quite well.
I believe he would be honest and fair in his dealings with the State Senate if he became Lt. Governor.
As far as looks and charm go, Bryant has Ross beat by a country mile. If you want brains and knowledge, Ross beats Bryant by miles. If I were to bet, Bryant would beat Ross in Rankin County and the state in the primary. But in the general election, I think Ross would be a lot tougher to beat. In a debate with the Democrat, Ross would club the Democrat but the Democrat would cream Bryant.
In Rankin County, Bryant would win. Chances are excellent Bryant would carry every major section of the county. He would easily win Pearl. But that is today's forecast. As I wrote before, this will not be a pretty primary. In a debate, Bryant would look handsomer and more debonaire but would be exposed as an empty suit. Ross would slaughter Bryant in a debate. It wouldn't even be close. You'd have to pick Bryant off the floor because he would be so badly beaten.
I'll make no bones as to whom I will vote for: Charlie Ross. At least he is honest and forthright. That is a lot more than what I can say for Bryant.
As for the general election, I'll wait and see who's the Democratic nominee. There's no way I would vote for Barbara Blackmon or State Rep. Jamie Franks, two flaming liberals. But if the Democrats can nominate a conservative, I could vote for him (her). If Ross is the nominee, I could vote for him no matter who the Democrats nominate. But there is no way on God's green earth I would ever vote for a phony like Bryant. I would either vote for the Democrat or leave it blank.
As time goes on, I will place more postings on my blog about this race. It promises to be a doozy.