JACKSON — Gone almost unnoticed from this past year’s elections is not only the success of the Republican Party, but the success of metro Jackson Republicans.
Rankin County, a Jackson suburb, has long been the most dominant force in state Republican Party politics. But this past year, Rankin County flexed its muscle to elect not only Republicans, but Jackson area Republicans.
Gov. Phil Byant has long been part of the Rankin County Republican machine. Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves grew up in Rankin County and Speaker Philip Gunn hails from the other side of Jackson — in Clinton.
Compare this to four years ago when the governor — Haley Barbour — was from Yazoo City and the speaker — Billy McCoy — was from Rienzi. Bryant, of course, was lieutenant governor.
Four years before that, Barbour and McCoy were joined in their respective positions by Amy Tuck, a Maben native. And the four years before that, the three most powerful people in state governor were Gov. Ronnie Musgrove from Panola County, Speaker Tim Ford from Lee County and Tuck.
And just for the heck of it, four years earlier it was Gov. Kirk Fordice from Vicksburg, Speaker Ford and Lt. Gov. Musgrove.
The consolidation of power by Jackson area politicians is unprecedented. Not saying it is good or bad. I am just saying it is interesting.