Vegas Odds

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?

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3 Responses to Vegas Odds

  1. Jon Kiesel says:

    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.

  2. Gracyn Young says:

    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.

  3. Gracyn Young says:

    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.

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