The Mississippi Republican Party is trying to retain its slim majority in the state house of representative more than a year before the next election. Party leaders are already bringing in big names ahead of the 2015 legislative election.
Republicans in the house frequently site that this is their first majority since reconstruction and will likely fight hard to keep it.
Including brining in influence conservative figures like Florida Senator and possible presidential nominee Marco Rubio who is helping raise money and the morale of Republicans in the state.
Rubio highlighted what he considers conservative successes in the state, such as a declining teen pregnancy rate and charter schools, as a reason that Republicans should hold onto and expand their majorities.
"It is at the state level where these changes have always come. And that is why I encourage the work you are doing here and I am so happy to be part of this event here today which endeavors to add even more like-minded people to the rolls of your majority. I hope that you can further this agenda and change the direction of our country," Rubio said.
Speaker Pro-temp Greg Snowdon of Meridian, the second ranking Republican in the House, thinks the GOP's track record over the last three years will lift it to new heights. He is a long serving representative who has seen the GOP rise from a small knot to driving force in the house.
"We feel good about it. We have a good track record to run on. We feel strong about our positive record and we feel we have a strong case to take to the voters," Snowdon said.
Republicans hold just a five seat majority in the house, which has Democrats licking their chops at a chance to re-take the majority.
However, sluggish economic and the nation's highest unemployment rate could drag down Republicans according to Mississippi's Democratic Party Chairman Rickey Cole.
"We have spent a lot of time and energy building our farm team. Recruiting candidates. Training candidates and activists on the modern techniques for campaigning. You are going to see some first quality candidates emerge as candidates in 2015," Cole said.
While the Majority in the house could change, Republicans currently hold a nearly two-thirds majority in the state Senate. That control is unlikely to change even as the GOP battles within itself for the future of the part.
Republicans also appear well positioned to maintain the majority, if not all eight, of the state wide elected positions. They currently hold all but the Attorney General’s office. Several Republican candidates have been speculated to throw their hats into the ring for AG. It is unclear if three term Democratic Attorney General Jim Hood is interested in defending his seat.