It has been over a month since Charlie Ross lost his race for Congress. I was so busy with tax season that I had no chance to write as to the reasons for his loss. After tax season, I did some extensive work in asking people why they didn't vote for Ross. After putting all the data together, here are the reasons he lost:
1. His cold, aloof personality. It was bitterly ironic, but the more people got to know Charlie Ross, the more likely they were to vote for Gregg Harper. Those who never met the candidate voted for him without any question. They liked his service in the Legislature. But those who did know him could not stand him. Some people got downright nasty with me when I told them I was voting for Ross. The ones who knew him described him as "aloof, a snob, know-it-all, cold, imperious, insensitive" and other terms not worthy of mention.
2. The David Landrum voters. Landrum's voters were bitter against Ross for the hit campaign on Landrum's not voting in prior primaries and elections. Actually, it was John Rounsaville who brought that out. But many Landrum supporters think Ross was behind it all. They broke heavily for Harper after the first primary.
3. The Religious Right. They were thirsting for their own and they got it in the person of Gregg Harper. He played the religious card for all he could milk it. Much to Ross' credit, he refused to play the church game to get votes. He said he was not going to use church to further his political campaign. You could see Harper schmoozing to those pastors so he could get Religious Right votes. I was nauseated by Harper's bringing up what a wonderful Christian he was and how he would have a "servant attitude" if he were in Congress. But this district is rife with the Religious Right and they swallowed Harper's religiosity hook, line and sinker.
4. Phil Bryant. Now Charlie Ross may claim Phil Bryant is his friend (With friends like that, who needs enemies?), but that is wishful thinking. I found out Bryant was going all-out to defeat Ross. Bryant is a lowlife who holds grudges until the end of time. I was told Bryant was very bitter against Ross for Ross' "mudslinging" (i.e., that's a Bryant code term for telling the truth) during the raucous GOP primary for Lt. Governor last year. He vowed revenge. His financial backer, Billy Powell, was working hard and raising money for Harper. (Politics makes very strange bedfellows. Billy Powell worked hard to defeat a pro-life plank in the Rankin County GOP platform back in 1990, but that didn't stop him from backing a very strong pro-lifer such as Harper.) Phil Bryant made it known he was after Ross and encouraged his supporters to vote for Harper. If Satan had been in the runoff against Ross, Bryant would be holding Satanic ceremonies. That's how bitter Bryant was against Ross. (And believe me, Bryant can be a very vindictive scumbag.)
5. Ross fatigue. When Ross decided to run for Congress, I had a lot of my friends tell me, "You mean to tell me he's running again? He just lost his race for Lt. Governor." They got tired of his puss on the tube again. They wanted a fresh face. If Landrum hadn't blown that voting controversy, he would have made it to the runoff and defeated Ross. Instead, they voted for the vacuous Harper.
I had a friend call me up on Election Day inviting me to the victory party. I asked him how the race looked since he was hot and heavy working for Ross. Much to my shock, he told me it didn't look good and Ross was going to lose. He was right, with Ross getting an anemic 41% of the vote. He should have easily been elected. He was clearly the most qualified person to run for Congress in the district since Sonny Montgomery.
Ross may try another run for political office in 2011 or even later. But don't count on his winning. With Phil Bryant and his toadies bitterly fighting him every inch of the way, Ross will have an uphill climb. It's a shame, because Ross was perhaps one of the smartest and most productive members in the State Senate.