Election Day 2015 is a part of history now. Mississippi voters went to the polls yesterday to defeat Initiative 42 and to elect Republican candidates in large numbers. Millsaps College political science professor Kenneth Townsend was with us last night covering the election, so we brought him back for a conversation the morning after.
Mississippi voters have rejected a constitutional amendment requiring lawmakers to increase funding for public schools. Tuesday's ballot required voters to answer two questions in regards to Initiative 42. The first was whether they wanted to amend the constitution. The second asked if they preferred 42 -- proposal that could have forced lawmakers to fully fund school -- or its legislative alternative -- 42-A. Voters overwhelmingly approved 42 on the second question, but the initiative failed to get enough support to actually amend the constitution. Despite the defeat, supporters of the amendment say they are not giving up the fight to ensure Mississippi's public schools get adequate funding. Nancy Loome is with The Parent's Campaign, a public education advocacy group. She spoke with MPB's Paul Boger.
Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood won re-election to a fourth term yesterday. His opponent, Republican Mike Hurst, conceded the race in a phone call late last night. Hood -- the only Democrat holding statewide office -- told his supporters there is much work left to be done over the next four years.
After years of Republican control, Democrats will now have a majority in the three-member Public Service Commission. The Commission -- which oversees utilities in the state, among other things -- has been at the center of controversy for years because of the overdue and over-budget Kemper County Power Plant. Democrat Cecil Brown -- who is retiring from the Mississippi House of Representatives -- was elected to represent the Central District. Brown has long been a critic of the Kemper Project. The Commission's only Republican voice will be businessman Sam Britton -- the winner of the Southern district seat. The Commission's lone incumbent -- Democrat Brandon Presley -- has won his third term on the PSC for the Northern District. He spoke with MPB's Maura Moed.