After Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley announced his plans to run for governor last week, I asked myself only one question: why would he run as a Democrat instead of an Independent?
Presley has proven to be an effective public servant. As the mayor of Nettleton, he not only cut taxes but also managed to grow the city. As the Public Service Commissioner for the Northern District, he found ways to bring broadband internet service to some of the most rural Mississippi spaces above I-20. He listens to people and knows how to work a room.
Although my wife’s elective office is non-partisan, I heard plenty of party politics during the campaign last year. I heard folks praise Presley at length, only to end their thoughts on his body of work by saying, “Yeah, but he’s a Democrat. I could never trust him.” You can almost see them shaking their heads in regret at his party affiliation.
It would be appropriate here to weep over the straightjacket that public officials put on when they agree to serve one party or another. They’re reduced to serving ideologies before they serve the people. However, gnashing teeth over the need for a viable third party is as useful as trying to sharpen a knife with a noodle. Instead, think about this: what are Presley’s chances to topple an incumbent Republican?
His campaign message and previous experience sound promising, and if I well thought out my voting options, he would have mine, but I end up voting Republican because I don’t know better and didn’t do my research. I may as well flip a coin.
I’m not sure if local politics is hitting close to home for the state of Mississippi, especially since that should have more impact. If we keep letting a more globalized economy pass over every town and city, every local government that’s not big like New York, Los Angeles, or Chicago start to lose its power, and the vote becomes less interesting. Am I wrong about this trend? Is it not the case that most voters are playing autopilot in their local or state elections and that we’ve defaulted into paying attention to only the national elections? This could be the major problem.
As for Presley running as Democrat, I guess that he isn’t taking any chances and wants to be certain of being on the other side of the coin flip. Appealing to not-so-researched Republican interests as a candidate that’s “not Democrat” might not be worth it if you’re not already directly on their side.
I think that many people in the south are so pressured into (typically because of the way they were raised) voting for a certain political party rather than the person or their ideals. They would rather have the title ‘Democrat’ or ‘Republican’ on their elected official rather than somebody who could do the better job for their area. Like Jon Kiesel said earlier, I think that many Republicans don’t see these third, fourth, fifth (and so on) smaller parties, and rather view them as Republican and “not-Republican,” rather than many others who see these different branches, Independents, Green Party, Progressive, Libertarian, etc. This is an incredibly harmful ideology as many people with these labels, don’t stick 100% true to their party. As for Presley, I think Mississippi will behave in the way it was raised. And that is voting Republican no matter who is running.
I think that many people in the south are so pressured into (typically because of the way they were raised) voting for a certain political party rather than the person or their ideals. They would rather have the title ‘Democrat’ or ‘Republican’ on their elected official rather than somebody who could do the better job for their area. Like Jon Kiesel said earlier, I think that many Mississippias don’t see these third, fourth, fifth (and so on) smaller parties, and rather view them as Republican and “not-Republican,” rather than many others who see these different branches, Independents, Green Party, Progressive, Libertarian, etc. This is an incredibly harmful ideology as many people with these labels, don’t stick 100% true to their party. As for Presley, I think Mississippi will behave in the way it was raised. And that is voting Republican no matter who is running.
When someone picks one of the two major parties then they get both the positive effects of having a group to back you and the negative effects of the hate that their chosen party receives. It makes sense why a candidate will pick a party because when you talk about politics then the term republican and democrat will always come up and being in one of these parties instantly gives a candidate the backing and platform of enormous influence. Even if there are people who would no longer vote for Brandon because he picked repping the democrats, he’s been in the business and knows whats best for him better than us.
Honestly, his chances of winning in that scenario are pretty low if he runs as a Democrat. Like Gracyn said, there’s a culture that has been created in the south that prioritizes republicans regardless of if their policies are good or not. That’s just how people were raised and this brainwashing continues in a perpetual cycle from one generation to the next. That just goes to show how much better Mississippi could potentially become if these arbitrary political labels are ignored. It is sad that even though he has accomplished much and even other republicans acknowledge this, his political career is diminished and dismissed simply for the party he runs under. These leaders are elected to be servants of the people and even when they have a successful career they are unfortunately subject to criticism for such trivial reasons.
In my opinion, I almost had a glimmer of hope that our governor would be someone that would represent Mississippi as compassionate, caring, and a provider of good southern-hospitality. Except I realize that he is a democrat, running for an election in Mississippi. I facepalmed in dissapoitment. Hopefully, people can be convinced that he is not a democrat or a “libtard” but someone who is willing to care for Mississippi. But then yet again, as Mississippians, we are willing to elect corrupt leaders because they align with our biases and prejudices, even though they might affect us as well. But hey, at least he is god-loving, and capitalist, we are good! Right?
I have an appreciation for Brandon Presley, who has been a part of getting fiber optic internet service in the backwoods of Vardaman, Mississippi. My grandmother is having it installed this upcoming week. While it may not seem obvious, this opens up opportunities for the people who live in this area to have online jobs, be able to take advantage of streaming services, as well as other things. my grandmother has a medical alert box, which runs off of internet. When it’s not connected, it flashes. It flashes very often, for hours on end. There is no cell service. Without the ability to call for help, her breathing condition can very easily lead to her dying. Presley’s actions may very well indirectly save her life one day. My grandmother will never for him because he’s a democrat. This is the mindset of so many people who not only live in Vardaman, but also the tens of thousands that live in small towns and unincorporated communities around the northern district. As much as I’d love to see him win, I expect the results to yield a Republican governor
If we are under the assumption that Brandon Presley is the best candidate there is, Presley severely hindered his chances of winning by declaring himself a democratic candidate. I’m not sure why, but people seem to care very much about these arbitrary labels that we place on politicians where people, despite greatly supporting a candidate, will not even consider them as an option due to these labels. With this, I believe that since he is running as a democratic candidate, his chances of winning are abysmal.
In Mississippi, many people tend to care about the political party that candidates are affiliated with rather than their individual ideologies and plans as a public official. This makes me think that a Republican, rather than Presley, would be elected as governor of Mississippi. Presley is an ideal candidate: he strives to improve cities while as keeping in mind the people of the city and cutting their taxes simultaneously. However, there is one thing that is pulling him back: the party he is choosing to run for. Although many people choose to acknowledge his accomplishments, they are hesitant to vote for him (maybe because of their fear of others’ opinions if they vote Democrat).
Presley’s chances of going against republicans, any republican for that matter, are very slim. In southern states, probably even in other states, voting for someone in the Republican party is the general consensus among the states. However, there will always be those who are democrats, like Presley, in this vast pool of raging Republicans, if you will. I have similar thoughts to everyone who has already left a reply: people are more inclined to vote for a party they are comfortable with, rather than someone who they know will be best for the job. Taking Presley, for example, he is a good candidate for someone running to become governor: he’s done notable things to care for underserved communities in the northern region. However, the chances of a good, Democrat winning a political position against a rather fair, Republican is not high.
Presley running as a democrat is his major downfall. Although people have seen the good works he has done, the people will overlook that because he is a democrat. His chances are already lowered. Presley, however, is a good candidate for the election. He gets things done. If Presley were to run as nonpartisan or if he was a Republican, there are no doubts that he would have a higher chance for winning the election.
I personally do not pay much attention to the political scene of the United States, much less Mississippi’s; however, Presley’s chances to topple an incumbent Republican in an already majority republican state are slim. Factionalism is a big problem in Mississippi, and I doubt his work is enough to sway typically republican voters. Unfortunately, in this era, politicians must associate with a political party to be elected. Presley needs political backing from a political party, so running as an independent or other party is impossible for such a large-scale voter population. I hope this two-party system can ultimately change for the betterment of the people.