MS GOP Chairman speaks in Hattiesburg

MS GOP Chairman speaks in Hattiesburg
Mississippi Republican Party Chairman Lucien Smith spoke before a crowd at the monthly meeting of the Republican Women of Forrest and Lamar Counties on Tuesday. (Photo source: WDAM)

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Mississippi Republican Party Chairman Lucien Smith spoke before a crowd at the monthly meeting of the Republican Women of Forrest and Lamar Counties on Tuesday.

We asked Smith about the upcoming Republican primary in June.

"The good thing about the Republican Party is that we've got a very deep bench of candidates," said Smith. "We've got six people running in the 3rd Congressional district, we've got two in the fourth and two in the Senate race."

On Tuesday, June 5, longtime incumbent Roger Wicker will look to fend off challenger Richard Boyanton for the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate.

In the 4th Congressional District, incumbent Steven Palazzo will take on E. Brian Rose for the GOP nomination.

Incumbent Trent Kelly is running unopposed in the 1st Congressional District.

The 3rd Congressional District race features a crowded field looking to fill the void left by Gregg Harper, who is stepping away from the House after this term. The candidates looking to take the seat include Sally Doty, Morgan Dunn, Michael Guest, Whit Hughes, Perry Parker and Katherine "Bitzi" Tate.

“I think whoever comes out of those primaries is going to be well situated to win in November,” said Smith. “The Republican Party, in the candidates that we nominate, support the values that Mississippians value. I think voters are going to vote with whoever the party chooses to be our nominees.”

According to Smith, the Democratic Party is active here in South Mississippi, so that makes voter education and turnout even more important for the GOP during this year's midterm elections.

"The Democrats are engaged, and they are going to try to come down here. We've got the advantage that our policy positions are in line with what Mississippians want to have come out of government," said Smith. "Our task is making sure that we've got an organization that informs people of that, that gets them to the polls."

Smith wasn't all election talk at the gathering. He also took time to praise the women in attendance.

"They do a tremendous job for our party, and they are great leaders for this region and for the entire state," said Smith.