JACKSON, Miss. (Legal Newsline) - Steve Simpson proved to be not much of a threat to Jim Hood's re-election as Mississippi attorney general.
Hood defeated Simpson - a former public service commissioner, circuit judge and assistant district attorney - by a wide margin Tuesday. With 46 percent of precincts reporting at 10:17 p.m., Hood had 70,000 more votes than Simpson and a 62-percent-to-38-percent advantage, WAPT reported.
Hood's coming term will be his third and his win caps a contentious final month of his race with Simpson.
Hood alleged Simpsons abused his office as public service commissioner by billing the state more than $400 for a diner meeting in 2009 at a resort.
Two lawmakers and the state's insurance commissioner were listed as Simpson's guests but all three denied eating at one of the resort's restaurants. Simpson's campaign said the three attended a dinner and pointed out that Hood spent $2,500 for a six-day conference held at Disney World.
Republican Gov. Haley Barbour joined in later that week, criticizing a Hood statement that said he had recovered more than $20 million for the state's budget from pharmaceutical lawsuits. Barbour insists that the federal government is entitled to much of that recovery and that private attorneys hired by Hood will end up making more money from the lawsuits than the state will.
Next, Simpson complained that Hood used the AG's office to obtain a video of Simpson helping a friend get out of jail, though Hood's campaign said the video is public record.
Despite controversies caused by his relationships with private attorneys like the now-incarcerated Richard "Dickie" Scruggs, Hood has remained popular in the state. In 2007, he easily defeated Al Hopkins.
From Legal Newsline: Reach John O'Brien by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.