Word is drifting north from our state capital that Madison County Supervisor Tim Johnson plans to challenge long-time Transportation commissioner Dick Hall in the upcoming GOP primary.
My own words are inadequate to mourn that I do not live in the Central District, so that I might observe this race as closely as possible.
Johnson, whom I came to know when he was in the state Senate, has had his eyes on higher achievements for quite a long time.
After 2 terms in the Senate, he lost his footing when his legislative colleagues redistricted him out of his seat. That’s when he decided he’d like to be a county supervisor.
Why all the ambition?
Goodness, he’s already Elvis. No kidding, Johnson came to the state Capitol as, I believe, its first legislative Elvis “tribute artist.”
Back in that day, when the daily roll was called, Sen. Johnson often responded – not with “here” or “present” – but with that curled-up lip and a tuneful “uh, huh, huh.”
Late in the legislative session, when those small conference committees were busy working out deals for individual bills, and Johnson usually wasn’t involved at that level, he’d arrive at the Senate in full Elvis gear to serenade whoever was in the chamber, as well as staff there or listening via the intercom.
He’s also done a good bit of traveling in his Elvis work and is a favorite at many a central MS nursing homes, so perhaps he could bank that fan base, especially with absentee votes.
Dick Hall is a bit of a cool cat, himself, although now in his older age, he’s less likely to go-Elvis on anybody. But I’m sure folks are still around from his MSU athletic days, who remember Hall as a suave kind of guy.
Hall isn’t likely to take the Johnson challenge with a smile on his face, though. Hall was chairman of the powerful Appropriations Committee in the Senate when Johnson was lucky to get on a committee, so Hall figures his stock should be higher with the folks who know different.
They would square off in the Aug. 2 GOP primary, which means the summertime airways could be full of heated advertising. We can only hope some will have Elvis themes.
I’m not sure North MS has got anything to rival that race. Probably a good thing for exhausted voters … and political reporters!
Stay tuned…. patsy