Attorney General Jim Hood, a Democrat, and his opponent Republican Mike Hurst, appeared before a small group of state leaders and the news media to talk about their campaigns. Hood is running on his 12-year record of accomplishments. A former district attorney in North Mississippi, he cited a list of convictions his office has won-- including 151 cyber-crime cases since 2011 and 525 for abusing vulnerable persons, in 2004.
"You've got to be able to make a call whether to make an arrest. You've got to understand the law. You've got to understand Mississippi case law, Mississippi criminal law, Mississippi civil law. I've got that experience," said Hood.
Hood says people appreciate the services his office provides from educating people about consumer scams to helping crime victims. Hurst, a former prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney's Office in Washington, DC., questioned Hood's commitment to prosecuting public corruption cases, such as the bribery scandal involving former Department of Corrections Commissioner Christopher Epps.
"Some of the largest, biggest, longest public corruption cases in our state, we have prosecuted in the U.S. Attorney's Office and we have not worked with the attorney general's office. In fact, on occasions where I've been told people have gone to the AG's office, nothing's happened," said Hurst.
Hood says resources are limited.
"There are assets that the federal government has and we share information. We're members of the task forces at the FBI and other federal agencies. We work very well," said Hood.
Mike Hurst challenged Hood to share details about his campaign spending. Jim Hood says he has a CPA and follows the law. The Stennis Institute for Government and the Capitol Press Corps sponsored the forum.