By NEMS Daily Journal
While two other Southern states, Florida and South Carolina, have recently dominated news about the Republican presidential contest, Mississippi also has a GOP presidential primary on March 13. Voters also will vote that day in U.S. Senate and House races.
Joe Nosef, a Jackson attorney and the new chairman of the Mississippi Republican Party, answered questions about the primary from the Daily Journal’s Bobby Harrison.
Q: What kind of turnout are you anticipating on March 13 in the Republican primary? Do you think Republican voters in the state are excited about this year’s elections?
A: I anticipate a good turnout in the Republican primary on March 13. Republican voters in our state and across the country are very enthusiastic about having a Republican nominee for the general election who will draw a clear contrast between Republican principles and the failed policies of the Obama administration’s past four years. In Mississippi, March 13 is a great way for Republicans to be actively involved in that overall goal of making a change in the White House as well as nominating Republican congressional candidates in all four districts and in the one U.S. Senate race that is on the ballot this year. As our party continues to grow, Republican primaries are becoming more and more the norm, not the exception, so I’m excited about the growing interest in the party and the upcoming primary election.
Q: What’s your best guess? Will the presidential primary in Mississippi be competitive? Do you anticipate any candidates visiting Mississippi?
A: This primary has turned a number of different directions at different times, and it has a tendency of doing so very quickly, so it would be difficult to make an accurate prediction about what will happen here on March 13 … If the nomination hasn’t been secured by a candidate by the middle of March, Mississippi will see a great deal of attention from the candidates. Only two other states are voting on March 13, so Mississippi could potentially be right in the middle of the overall decision process.
Q. Some statewide politicians have made endorsements in recent days. Am I correct to assume the party will not be making an endorsement? Instead, I guess your goal will be a smooth primary. Do you think that will happen?
A. The Mississippi Republican Party will not be endorsing a presidential candidate in the primary but once a nominee has been chosen, our party will be actively engaged in working to win Mississippi in November for that Republican nominee. My goal is for Mississippi to have the highest percentage of any other state for our Republican nominee for president. The overall goal shared by all Republicans is this: We can’t afford another four years of Barrack Obama as president, and that’s why once we have a nominee, we have to come together as a party to achieve that goal.