JACKSON, Miss. (Legal Newsline) - Steve Simpson, the Republican candidate for Mississippi attorney general, has reaffirmed his challenge to incumbent Jim Hood to participate in four debates before the November election.

On Friday, Simpson concluded a two-week tour of the state, visiting more than 30 counties. While on tour, he again expressed the importance of the debates.

Earlier this month, Simpson invited Hood to participate in a series of four debates before Nov. 8 -- one each month in one of the state's four Congressional districts.

However, Hood responded that he could only participate in one debate because of his current duties.

Simpson's campaign again pushed for more.

"We respect the fact that Attorney General Hood has a job to do in the coming months and fully expect him to continue that job. To accommodate his schedule, we've made a very simple offer -- one hour-long debate per Congressional district in the next 87 days -- that's it," campaign manager Scott Paradise said in a statement last week.

"If Jim Hood shares our belief that elected officials work for the voters and should be judged based on their records, we trust he will look forward to four opportunities to discuss his record and share his positions with Mississippi voters. Rather than hiding behind slick television ads, as politicians typically do, we hope Jim Hood accepts our offer to participate in one 'town-hall' debate per Congressional district before Nov. 8."

Simpson, who previously served as commissioner of Mississippi's Department of Safety, maintains the need for all four debates.

"Although I don't agree with the decisions Jim Hood has made as attorney general, specifically his refusal to join the fight against ObamaCare, I respect the fact that he has a job to do and we expect him to continue that work in the coming months," Simpson said in a statement Monday.

"We have proposed a very simple debate schedule that will only require Jim Hood to give Mississippi voters four hours in the next 77 days -- that's it.

"If Jim Hood agrees that Mississippi voters deserve an opportunity to actually interview their next attorney general, I trust he'll join me in participating in four debates before Election Day."

Simpson announced in January his plan to run for attorney general. He resigned his position as commissioner the next month.

Hood, a Democrat, is seeking his third term as attorney general.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at

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