GOP Primary Run-off election recommendations

William Waller, Jr on HB1 NEMiss.News
Justice William Waller, Jr campaigning in New Albany MS, 2019
August 26th, 2019     Government & Politics

Based on what we know of the candidates in the Mississippi 2019 primary election tomorrow, makes the following recommendations. We make no recommendations in strictly local elections (county supervisor, etc.). We assume that most voters know those candidates personally.


Not a close call. We recommend Republican voters cast their ballots for William Waller, Jr. in the GOP gubernatorial run-off. Waller’s qualifications to serve as the state’s chief executive are so clearly superior to those of Tate Reeves that this, in our opinion, is a no-brainer.

Reeves’s career resume consists of a few years as a very junior apparatchik at a couple of Jackson banks. This was followed by eight competent, but undistinguished years as state treasurer. He then served two terms as Mississippi lieutenant-governor.  Those eight years were marked by divisive and arrogant leadership, with no noteworthy accomplishments for Mississippi. However, Reeves excelled in accumulating campaign funds for himself, gathering in several million dollars. These “donations” came from special interests wanting legislative favors in the state senate, over which Reeves presided as lieutenant-governor.

William Waller, Jr. is a veteran U.S. Army combat commander with three distinguished tours in the Middle East. He retired with a chest full of earned combat medals as a brigadier-general in the Mississippi National Guard. He served 20 years as a justice of the Mississippi Supreme Court, the last ten years as the Chief Justice. His reputation is that of a collegial leader who knows how to make things happen.

We recommend William Waller, Jr. for Mississippi Governor.


Not as easy a call as governor, but simple enough. We believe Andy Taggart should be the Republican nominee for Mississippi Attorney-General.

Current State Treasurer, Lynn Fitch, has done a competent job in that office and would be a competent attorney-general. Her legal background includes work as a bond attorney and employment by the state legislature. Her experience as a litigator in state and federal courts is limited.

Andy Taggart was chief of staff for Mississippi Governor Kirk Fordice. He has developed a successful law practice as a litigator during the past 20 years. He has appeared regularly before the federal courts and the state supreme court. He has represented the state as a hired, private attorney before those courts.

We recommend Andy Taggart for Mississippi Attorney-General.

Northern District Transportation Commissioner

We recommend retired Marine Corps Colonel John Caldwell as the Republican nominee for Northern District Highway Commissioner.

Geoffrey Yoste, of Oxford is a business consultant in the defense industry. He helps defense contractors secure business with the Department of Defense.

John Caldwell commanded Marines in combat in three Middle East tours. He earned a Bronze Star in combat. His job experience since retirement from the Corps includes service as an elected member of the Desoto County Board of Supervisors. His civilian work experience has been mainly in the transportation industry. Colonel Caldwell strikes us as a guy who could take  bulldozers, dump trucks, paving machines and competent operators and build a road himself, starting the first day it wasn’t raining.  In fact, Caldwell would probably work himself in the rain to be sure everything was ready and have the equipment moving the minute the rain stopped.

We recommend John Caldwell for Northern District Transportation Commissioner.

Mississippi State Senate, District 3

This is a harder recommendation call than the others.

Either of the two candidates in the run-off would be a significant improvement over the District 3 representation in the State Senate since 1996. Like the early American colonists and their complaints against King George III, the voters and taxpayers of Pontotoc and Union counties could have made a valid argument for the last 24 years that they were enduring “taxation without representation.”

Kathy Chism is a successful operator of two small businesses and is a registered real estate agent. She is bright, a very hard worker, well organized and focused on her tasks. She could ably represent District 3 in the Mississippi Senate.

Kevin Walls operates a successful family-owned automotive business in Pontotoc. Before that, he worked many years for United Parcel Service. There, he managed several hundred employees and many millions of dollars worth of UPS equipment.  Walls was eventually offered a promotion and transfer to manage UPS operations in Arizona in the Desert Southwest. However, he and his wife decided to retire from UPS and return home to Mississippi. His work experience strikes us as more appropriate to the task of jumping into the shark tank and representing Pontotoc and Union counties in the Mississippi State Senate.

We recommend Kevin Walls in the GOP run-off for Mississippi State Senate District 3.

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