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Ashton Pittman

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‘Why Can’t I Break That Barrier?’: The JFP Interview with AG Hopeful Jennifer Riley Collins

During our afternoon interview with Jennifer Riley Collins in downtown Jackson, she explained why she believes she is up to the momentous task of becoming the first African American woman ...

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Legislative Update: Fetal Heartbeats, Teacher Pay, Tort Reform

Daniella Dismuke-Roja is an activist who is challenging laws that she believes threaten the rights of Mississippians. On March 14, she traveled to Jackson and joined a group of Democratic ...

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‘I Can’t Keep Calm’: Myrlie Evers-Williams ‘Incensed’ at Bryant, Hyde-Smith

Civil-rights activist Myrlie Evers-Williams told a radio host Friday that she refused “sit down and be quiet” after Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant credited only President Donald Trump and the state’s ...

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Sen. Roger Wicker Defies Trump With Vote Against National Emergency Order

At the Neshoba County Fair in August 2018, U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker sought to assure a suspicious, conservative crowd of his allegiance to President Donald Trump's agenda.

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Phil Bryant Praises White Officials for Evers Honor, Bashes Bennie Thompson

In the wake of a new federal law declaring civil-rights hero Medgar Evers' home a national monument, Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant credited President Donald Trump and Mississippi's two white Republican ...

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Ronnie Crudup Jr. Wins Special Election for South Jackson House Seat

Mississippi House Speaker Philip Gunn called Ronnie Crudup, Jr. Tuesday evening to congratulate him on his victory after voters in south Jackson elected the local activist to fill a vacated ...

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Mississippi Teachers Unimpressed As House Ups Two-Year Pay Raise to $4,000

Mississippi teachers told the Jackson Free Press that they agreed with critics of the Legislature's $1,000 raise bill, and they had their own criticisms of even a $4,000 raise.

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Mississippi Holds Special Elections for Three House Seats Today

Mississippi voters in three state House districts head to the polls today to elect new representatives to fill vacant seats.

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Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves' 2003 Victory over Gary Anderson 'All About Race,' Critics Say

In his successful 2003 bid for state treasurer, critics accused current-Republican Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves of running ads designed to remind voters that his Democratic opponent, Gary Anderson was black. ...

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Voucher Bill Dies at Legislature, Possibly Ending Program Next Year

Mississippi's education voucher program, which subsidizes private-school tuition at the expense of public schools, could end next year after lawmakers allowed a bill to extend it to die in committee.

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Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith Plans 2020 Kickoff With High-Dollar Donors

Just months after winning the most closely contested U.S. Senate race in Mississippi since the 1980s, U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith plans to kick off her 2020 re-election bid next month ...

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'Take This Country Back': State Legislators Want Constitutional Convention

On Feb. 21, 2019, retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. Allen West asked state legislators to do something Americans have not done since the time when muskets and bayonets were commonplace—call ...

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Democratic House Leader David Baria Won’t Seek Re-Election

Mississippi House Minority Leader David Baria will not seek re-election to his seat, the Bay St. Louis Democrat announced unexpectedly in a letter to supporters Friday afternoon.

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GOP Kills Tort Reform Amendment Requiring 'Reasonable' Safety Efforts

Businesses no longer would have to "take reasonable steps" to prevent violence on their premises after Republicans defeated a proposed amendment to a "tort-reform" bill working through the Mississippi Legislature, ...

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Bryant: GOP Would've 'Hollered' If Obama Pushed Criminal Reform

"You're the only president that can do this," Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant says he privately told President Trump last year, as he urged the fellow Republican to support criminal-justice reform.

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Hosemann Talks River Floods, Jackson Water, Yearly Teacher Pay Raises

Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann expounded Monday on a lawsuit against the federal government over flooding along the Mississippi River, but said his office would not "wade into" issues ...

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Mike Espy Boosts Young House Candidate With Endorsement, Data

Brandon Rue, president of a student organization at the University of Southern Mississippi called Common Causeto, plans to run as a Democrat for Mississippi House District 102, the state legislative ...

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Voucher Program Helping Seg Schools Should Go, Education Advocates Say

On Valentine's Day, a voucher program that subsidizes private schools for special- needs children got the gift of four more years from the Mississippi Senate—even though many private schools in ...

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Mississippi: The Battleground for Roe v. Wade’s Future?

Red states, emboldened by the Trump regime, are passing hardline anti-abortion laws aimed at triggering a reconsideration of Roe at the nation's highest court—laws like the fetal heartbeat bills the ...

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Legislative Update: Tort Reform, Heartbeat Bills, Teacher Pay Moves Forward

On Feb. 13, the House and Senate passed "fetal heartbeat" bills, which ban abortions after a heartbeat is detected. Doctors can detect heartbeats as early as six weeks, making it ...

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Dem Lt. Gov. Hopeful Voted for Abortion Ban So White Dems Don't Go Extinct

Hit with a wave of anger from his own party after he voted for a bill that essentially bans abortions after six weeks, Mississippi House Rep. Jay Hughes offered a ...

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Tate Reeves Spoke at Event Where 'Yankees' Were Compared to 'Nazis'

Surrounded by cotton and Confederate flags, Mississippi Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves praised the Sons of Confederate Veterans at their national reunion in Vicksburg in July 2013.

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Hood: Judge Tate Reeves for 'Rebel Flags,' Not Frat's College Blackface

Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood "did all kinds of stupid things in college," but he is "sure" wearing blackface is not one of them, he told a crowd in Jackson ...

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'Landowners' Tort Reform Bill Would Mean 'Safe Zones' for Crime, Critics Say

Mississippi senators delighted the business community last week when they passed a bill to cut down on lawsuits against property owners, but strong opposition remains among law enforcement, advocates for ...

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Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves' Fraternity Wore Black Face, Hurled the N-Word at Black Students

As a college student at Millsaps, Mississippi Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves participated in a fraternity known for blackface, racial epithets and Confederate dances, a Jackson Free Press examination of Millsaps ...

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Fetal Heartbeat Ban 'A Direct Challenge to Roe,' Activists Warn

Abortion-rights activists are warning that Mississippi's fetal-heartbeat bills, and others like them, are part of an effort to instigate a U.S. Supreme Court case that could overturn constitutional protections for ...

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Beyond Angry Tweets: Robert Foster on Why He is Running for Governor

Mississippi House Rep. Robert Foster is running for governor in the Republican primary, running against current Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, a Republican from Florence, Miss., among others.

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#MSLeg: Broadband, Abortion, Prison Reform

On Jan. 31, legislators in the Mississippi House Education Committee advanced to the House floor a bill designed to help prepare schools for the worst: the possibility of gun violence.

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School Safety Act Includes Mental Health, School Surveillance Provisions

Mississippi's children go to school in places "of potential violence," Gov. Phil Bryant lamented in his State of the State address last month, as he called on lawmakers to craft ...

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Mississippi Immigrant Rights Group Calls for Action from Lawmakers

Members and supporters of the Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance held a rally to urge lawmakers to pass legislation to make life better for the state's documented and undocumented immigrants.

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Bennie Thompson Calls for Evasive Trump Official to Testify to Congress

In a scathing letter, Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., called on Homeland Security Secretary Kristjen Nielsen to appear before the congressional Committee on Homeland Security.

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Gov. Bryant Signs Law Aimed at Expanding Broadband to Rural Areas

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signed the Mississippi Broadband Enabling Act into law Wednesday morning surrounded by a bipartisan group of beaming legislators.

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Mississippi Celebrities Speak Out After Jussie Smollett Attack

Mississippi celebrities are speaking out after a racist, homophobic attack on "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett that Chicago police describe as a "possible hate crime."

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Sam Britton Announces Secretary of State Run, Pledges Loyalty to Trump

Mississippi Public Service Commissioner Sam Britton promised to "get government out of our lives" on Monday as he launched a bid to become Mississippi's next secretary of state.

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'They Brutalized My Brother': George Robinson's Family Accuse JPD of 'Murder'

"You all are not at a press conference today. You are at a crime scene," attorney Dennis Sweet IV told reporters gathered next to an early 2000s Impala in the ...

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Medical Marijuana Gains Momentum in Mississippi, with Majority Support

Medical marijuana in Mississippi is on pace to make it onto the ballot in the state next year, said Jonathan Brown, who is leading the signature drive.

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A Bridge Too Far: ‘No’ to Medicaid Expansion

As the 2019 legislative session heats up, state legislators are again tussling over the Medicaid program and whether or not to accept federal funds that could expand coverage to as ...

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Mississippi Least Educated Despite Bryant's 'Better Than Ever' Claim

Mississippi claims the top spot as the least educated state in the country in a new study out just two weeks after Gov. Phil Bryant proclaimed that Mississippi's educational system ...

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Mississippi Leaders Still 'Honoring' Racists, After All These Years

The head of the Mississippi state agency that sent out a tweet this week honoring Confederate General Robert E. Lee once attended a rally of a racist organization that refers ...

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Mississippi May Mandate Ten Commandments and Pledges to State, U.S. Flags in Schools

Mississippi law would require schoolchildren to recite the Pledge of Allegiance and see the Ten Commandments be displayed on public-school walls under new bills in the Legislature this session.

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Shutdown Hits Mississippi Harder than 90 Percent of States

The ongoing federal government shutdown is doing more damage in Mississippi than in most states, an analysis finds. Mississippi ranks eighth, according to WalletHub.

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Lt. Gov. Reeves: No to Medicaid Expansion, Despite Strong Citizen Support

After weeks of speculation that Mississippi's Republican leadership might support expanding Medicaid in the state, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves slammed the door shut on Monday.

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Columbia, Miss. Celebrates 200 Years

On Jan. 5, 2019, the south Mississippi town of Columbia, Miss., celebrated its bicentennial downtown.

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Republican Candidates 'Looking at' Medicaid Expansion, Other States

At least two Republican candidates for statewide office in Mississippi are voicing support for Medicaid expansion—a policy state GOP leadership has long resisted.

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Hosemann Should 'Resign' His Office, Democratic Opponent Demands

One of Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann's potential opponents is calling on him to resign his office while he runs for lieutenant governor.

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Delbert Hosemann Running for Lt. Gov: 'I'm Here to Apply for the Job'

Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann is running for lieutenant governor, he announced Wednesday morning.

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Election-Year Lawmaking: What Will Happen?

Democratic Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood had stood discussed Mississippi's dismal national rankings in things like health care, poverty and education. Republicans such as Bryant and Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, ...

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Rep. Thompson Blasts White House's 'Outright Lies,' Calls for Hearings

Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., accused the Trump administration of "outright lies" and called for hearings on the deaths of children who were in U.S. custody.

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Survey: No Benefits from Almost Half of Mississippi Businesses

Nearly half of Mississippi businesses provide no incentives to their employees at all, a December survey conducted by the Mississippi Secretary of State's Office revealed.

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Bryant Urges Trump to Close Border, Threatening 40,800 Mississippi Jobs

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant cheered on President Trump’s threats to shut down the border between the U.S. and Mexico, even though such a move would threaten $2.5 billion in trade ...

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