Is Flaggs seeking Lt. Gov. post?
Is Mayor George Flaggs Jr. getting serious about running for lieutenant governor?
Flaggs has indicated an interest in running for the seat now held by Tate Reeves, who is in his second term as lieutenant governor and prevented by term limits from seeking a third term.
Another Vicksburg native has also been mentioned as a candidate for lieutenant governor, but Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann declined to comment about any potential run for another office.
Speculation that Flaggs may run seemed to pickup Tuesday, after the mayor emailed a copy of a Clarion Ledger story about the lack of potential Democratic candidates for state offices to the media.
The article, which was based on a poll by the online Mississippi political website YallPolitics, had Flaggs scoring higher than state Rep. Jay Hughes, D-Oxford, in a lieutenant governor’s race, 17.3 percent to 14.3 percent.
The same poll had Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley, who is also a Democrat, leading Hughes by a margin of 19.6 percent to 11 percent.
Flaggs said he sent the email as “for your information,” but said he was pleased by the numbers.
“He (Hughes) has already spent $194,000 and I haven’t spent any money,” he said.
But is he planning a run for lieutenant governor?
“I’ll announce my decision May 7 at high noon,” he said. “Until then, I’m meditating on it.”
Flaggs, who retired in 2012 from the Mississippi Legislature to run for Vicksburg mayor after serving 25 years as the state representative for District 55, first mentioned his possible interest in running for lieutenant governor during a November interview with a Jackson radio station.
At the time, Flaggs said he would pray about it and talk to his family, adding he had to determine whether he could win a statewide election and raise $2 million to finance a potential campaign.
“I do have a lot of legislative experience, and municipal experience, now; some of the things the state is lacking now, I think I can speak to them because I’ve gotten the experience,” listing underfunding of education, health care, government accountability and raising state employee pay as some of those issues, he said after the interview.
“I’m probably the longest serving member on the (House) Budget Committee, (and) I’ve served on the House Appropriations Committee for a number of years. I think in life when people ask you to seriously consider something, I think you should do it. You don’t know what God has in store for you,” Flaggs said.
Flaggs was first elected to the House of Representatives for District 55 in 1987. At the time of his retirement, he was chairman of the House Corrections Committee and had been chairman of the Justice and Banking committees.
He announced his intention to run for mayor in January 2013, and was first elected mayor in July 2013. He was elected to a second term in June 2017.