From Governing: Jim Hood speaks with a folksy twang. He says grace before dinner and styles his hair like the late country singer Conway Twitty. An American flag nearly as long as Hood juts from the brick portico of his suburban Jackson, Miss., home, and just inside the front door, he keeps a Good News Bible in plain view for guests to peruse. Out back he stores his tractor and guns in a woodshed and on days when he needs to get his mind off work as Mississippi’s attorney general, he retreats to the shed, where he takes used ammunition casings from his weekend hunting excursions and reloads them manually, shell by shell.
You might say Jim Hood is about as Mississippi as you can get. In one respect, though, he’s unusual for a politician in his home state: He’s a Democrat — and, on certain occasions, a liberal one. He prosecuted a Ku Klux Klan member for a 40-year-old murder and sued pharmaceutical companies over high drug prices. He declined to join a challenge to the national health-care law, and believes his state should participate in the expansion of Medicaid. None of that has seemed to hurt him politically.
Every other statewide officeholder in Mississippi is a Republican. In fact, across the seven states of the Deep South, every other governor, attorney general and secretary of state belongs to the GOP. Yet Hood has held onto his job easily for nearly a decade. In the 2011 election, his third successful bid for attorney general, he won a higher percentage of