Category: Political Scene Archives

POLITICAL SCENE ARCHIVES: Candidates for Governor Watching Other Candidates (Oct. 23, 1986)

Editor’s Note: This column was first published on October 23, 1986 as part of Wayne Weidie’s syndicated column series, “The Political Scene,” which ran through 43 newspapers in the state of Mississippi and spanned from 1970 to 1990. Political Scene columns will be periodically republished on The Weidie Report.


Potential 1987 governor candidates are not only testing their own popularity and fundraising potential, but in many cases their eventual decision depends on the decisions of other candidates. In many states, political unknowns come on the scene and are able to pull off upsets or set the stage for future campaigns.

A perfect example was 1967 when Bill Waller first ran for governor. Waller impressed a lot of people and was the second choice of many voters, but still finished far back in the Democrat primary. Four years later, Waller knocked off strong favorite Charlie Sullivan to win the race for governor.

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POLITICAL SCENE ARCHIVES: Senate Race Pollster Says Current Numbers Could Change (June 30, 1988)

Editor’s Note: This column was first published on June 30, 1988 as part of Wayne Weidie’s syndicated column series, “The Political Scene,” which ran through 43 newspapers in the state of Mississippi and spanned from 1970 to 1990. Political Scene columns will be periodically republished on The Weidie Report.


The latest poll on the U.S. Senate race gives very similar numbers to a poll taken during April. What may puzzle some people is that the Mason-Dixon Opinion and Research Poll released last week was assessed in an Associated Press story as a “whopping” lead for Republican Trent Lott. Lott’s margin in the Mason-Dixon poll was 11 points. The April poll of Mississippi State University political science professor Stephen Shaffer had Lott leading by 10 points over Democrat Wayne Dowdy. Yet the news release from MSU giving Shaffer’s results termed the 10 point margin a “narrow lead” for Lott.

At this stage of the campaign the two polls only confirm what everyone knows. The race will be very close.

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POLITICAL SCENE ARCHIVES: Molpus Pushing Dowdy for Dem Senate Nomination (Dec. 31, 1987)

Editor’s Note: This column was first published on Dec. 31, 1987 as part of Wayne Weidie’s syndicated column series, “The Political Scene,” which ran through 43 newspapers in the state of Mississippi and spanned from 1970 to 1990. Political Scene columns will be periodically republished on The Weidie Report.


As we move into a new year, the campaign to succeed John Stennis in the U.S. Senate will obviously hold the political spotlight. Because of Stennis’ age, speculation about his eventual successor has been a popular topic for a long time.

There has been one change in the major cast of characters. Two congressmen, Democrat Wayne Dowdy and Republican Trent Lott, have always been considered the heavyweights to take Stennis’ seat in Washington. The entry of Secretary of State Dick Molpus has made it certain that voters won’t have to wait until the November general election to see political fireworks. Democrat Hiram Eastland is also running but isn’t a threat to Dowdy or Molpus.

Molpus is a major roadblock for Dowdy. At age 32 four years ago, Molpus made his first political campaign by defeating six other Democrats in the primary for secretary of state. He then polished off his Republican opponent by 72-28 percent.

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POLITICAL SCENE ARCHIVES: Eastland May Slow Some Political Ambitions (Dec. 16, 1976)

Editor’s Note: This column was first published on Dec. 16, 1976 as part of Wayne Weidie’s syndicated column series, “The Political Scene,” which ran through 43 newspapers in the state of Mississippi and spanned from 1970 to 1990. Political Scene columns will be periodically republished on The Weidie Report.


On slow weeks, a political columnist can always play the “name game” for the next major political contest. In 1978 James O. Eastland’s current term in the U.S. Senate is due to expire. A number of us have been writing under the assumption that the powerful senior senator from Mississippi will retire and the state will see a real donnybrook for his successor.

Age is considered a factor, as Eastland will be 74 shortly after the 1978 election and a new six-year term would push Eastland up to 80. Recently, however, several political writers decided that any speculation regarding retirement by Eastland may be premature. The age thing doesn’t even hold much water since junior Sen. John Stennis found no major opposition for another term which will end when Stennis is 81.

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POLITICAL SCENE ARCHIVES: Texan John Connally Ran Out of Money, and Haley Barbour returns to Mississippi (Mar. 20, 1980)

Editor’s Note: This column was first published on Mar. 20, 1980 as part of Wayne Weidie’s syndicated column series, “The Political Scene,” which ran through 43 newspapers in the state of Mississippi and spanned from 1970 to 1990. Political Scene columns will be periodically republished on The Weidie Report.


March 20, 1980 The demise of John Connally’s presidential campaign also returned Haley Barbour home to Mississippi. Since last September, Barbour had been a fulltime staffer in Connally’s abortive campaign for the presidency. Long regarded as one of the state’s most astute political operatives in Republican ranks, Barbour was Connally’s regional coordinator for seven southern states. Barbour was joined in the Connally camp by two other of the state’s GOP heavyweights, Clarke Reed of Greenville and U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran.

Connally was expected to be a more formidable challenger. Upon his return to Yazoo City last week, Barbour gave major credit for Connally’s poor showing to campaign finances. Barbour won’t say that more money would have assured Connally of the GOP nomination, but feels that if the money problem had not been so acute, Connally would have at least had “a chance to have a chance.”

 

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POLITICAL SCENE ARCHIVES: From Rookie to State Senate Power (Jan. 4, 1979)

Editor’s Note: This column was first published on Jan. 4, 1979 as part of Wayne Weidie’s syndicated column series, “The Political Scene,” which ran through 43 newspapers in the state of Mississippi and spanned from 1970 to 1990. Political Scene columns will be periodically republished on The Weidie Report.


JAN. 4, 1979 Going through my past columns which show predictions gone astray and conclusions proved not to be conclusive, recent political events cause me to go back to a July 1973 column with a little satisfaction. In that month a special election was held in Jackson County to fill the vacancy created following the election of state Sen. Ken Robertson to a chancery judgeship.

A 30-year old Pascagoula attorney made his political debut in that race in a field of five candidates, some with solid credentials. The youthful lawyer not only rolled up 4,042 votes to 1,503 for his nearest competitor, but won 60 percent of the first primary vote against his four opponents. An Associated Press release in July 1973 took note of the election of John “Carlaw” to the Mississippi State Senate. A little over five years later, John Corlew, not “Carlew”, has assumed one of the most powerful posts in state government.

The future of Corlew as a rookie state senator in 1973 was not hard to predict. One who knew Corlew well not only predicted a big future from him, but said that the Pascagoula senator was going to prove to be one of the “most intelligent, honest, independent, sincere and capable men” to come on the state’s political scene.

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