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GOP attorney general candidate jabs at Moore

By By Terry R. Cassreino / assistant managing editor
July 31, 2003
PHILADELPHIA Scott Newton wasted no time the Republican candidate for state attorney general went on the attack Wednesday during a speech at the Neshoba County Fair.
First, the Ridgeland resident slammed outgoing Attorney General Mike Moore for not focusing enough time on prosecuting criminals and spending too much time trying asbestos and tobacco lawsuits.
Then Newton criticized his Democratic opponent Jim Hood, a former assistant attorney general under Moore. Newton said no one should automatically inherit or be anointed as Moore's successor.
Newton, a former assistant U.S. attorney, faces Hood, a district attorney in North Mississippi, in the Nov. 4 general election. Hood, scheduled to speak at the fair today, could not be reached for comment.
Moore, however, jumped at the chance to comment. Moore, in his fourth term and not seeking re-election, said he and his office have spent countless hours fighting drugs and crime in Mississippi.
Tuck explains switch
In case anyone missed Lt. Gov. Amy Tuck's switch last year from the Democratic to the Republican Party, she reminded voters of her decision Wednesday at the fair.
Tuck also spent part of her speech at the fair blasting the Democratic Party, under whose banner she ran for lieutenant governor in 1999, secretary of state in 1997 and state senator in the early 1990s.
Tuck said she backed a congressional redistricting plan that was best for the state and not one that was best for the Democrats and could have made it easier for Ronnie Shows to win the 3rd District U.S. House seat.
Shows, the former 4th District congressman, was forced to run for the 3rd District seat when Mississippi lost one of its U.S. House districts. Shows then lost the race last year to Republican Chip Pickering.
Tuck also said she refused, as a Democrat, to endorse Al Gore during his unsuccessful presidential campaign in 2000. President George W. Bush ultimately carried the state that year.
Ketchings counts on Fordice
State Rep. Andrew Ketchings of Natchez said he believes his campaign for the Republican nomination in the state treasurer's race will be helped greatly by the endorsement of former Gov. Kirk Fordice.
Ketchings, a House member since 1996, is one of three Republicans in Tuesday's GOP primary. The winner will face the Democratic nominee and Reform Party candidate Lee Dilworth in the Nov. 4 general election.
Fordice, the state's first Republican governor since Reconstruction, served two terms before leaving office in 2000. Fordice has maintained a low profile since leaving public office.