Hood has company in AG campaign

Jessica M. Karmasek Jan. 18, 2011, 1:17pm


JACKSON, Miss. (Legal Newsline) - Mississippi Department of Public Safety Commissioner Stephen B. Simpson announced on Monday he is running for the state's attorney general post.

"I will represent and address all of the concerns of all Mississippians, including overreaching federal mandates on Mississippi, on fighting our public corruption issue we've seen in the last several years, and also standing up, obviously, strong for consumer advocates," he said at the state Republican Party headquarters in Jackson, according to The Associated Press.

Democrat Jim Hood is seeking a third term as attorney general.

Simpson, during his campaign announcement, also said he would continue to challenge President Barack Obama's federal health care reform act.

Last year, Gov. Haley Barbour hired a private attorney and joined the multi-state lawsuit filed by former Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum. Hood reportedly ignored the governor's request to join the suit.

A federal judge in Florida is expected to rule soon in the 20-state lawsuit. Last month, a judge in Virginia ruled the individual mandate requirement was unconstitutional. The health care act requires individuals to purchase health insurance or pay a $695 annual penalty.

Simpson, after receiving his bachelor's and master's degrees from Delta State University, was employed as probation and parole officer for the Mississippi Department of Corrections.

Then, in 1985, he attended the University of Mississippi Law School, earning his law degree three years later.

After law school, Simpson practiced law with his brother, James C. Simpson Jr., and later served as an assistant district attorney for Harrison, Hancock and Stone counties.

In December 2000, Simpson was appointed by Gov. Ronnie Musgrove to serve as a circuit court judge for the Second Circuit Court.

In May 2008, Barbour then appointed Simpson to serve in his current position as commissioner of the Department of Public Safety.

Simpson currently resides in Gulfport with his wife and their three daughters.

According to the AP, Hood and Simpson are the only candidates for attorney general so far. Primaries will be held Aug. 2 and the general election is Nov. 8.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by e-mail at jessica@legalnewsline.com.

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