Health

Pre-Midterm Primary Campaign Finance Reports for Mississippi Congressional Candidates Released

See where each candidate stands ahead of Tuesday based on the latest FEC filings.
The 2022 Mississippi Congressional Midterm Primary Elections are days away. Voters will go to the polls on Tuesday, June 7th to vote for their party’s nominee, with the top vote-getter in the Democratic and Republican Primary moving on to the General Election in November.
Y’all Politics previewed the Midterm Primaries here in Mississippi earlier this week, giving readers a look at who is in the ballot and what the likely outcome may be when the dust clears on Tuesday night. You can read that article here.
READ MORE: Mississippi Midterm Elections are Next Tuesday. Who’s on the Ballot and What is the Likely Result?
Throughout the Primary season, Y’all Politics has also been tracking the campaign finance reports filed by each candidate with the Federal Election Commission (FEC). Below are the latest filing numbers as of the May 18th Pre-Primary reporting from each of the candidates on the ballot next Tuesday:

1st District
Republicans:

Trent Kelly (incumbent)– Raised this period: $112,000– Cash on hand: $227,000
Mark Strauss– No Report Showing

Democrats:

Hunter Avery– No Report Showing
Dianne Black– Raised this Period: $4,900– Cash on hand: $3,100

2nd District
Republicans:

Michael Carson– No Report Showing
Ron Eller– Raised this period: $3,600– Cash on hand: $2,000
Brian Flowers– Raised this period: $16,000– Cash on hand: $14,200
Stanford Johnson– No Report Showing

Democrats:

Bennie Thompson (incumbent)– Raised this period: $133,000– Cash on hand: See note below

NOTE: There appears to be a reporting issue with Thompson’s latest filing. On the previous report ending March 31, 2022, it shows Thompson had a cash on hand balance of $1,804,000. On this latest May 18th filing for April 1 through the reporting date, it shows Thompson only has $214,000 cash on hand. During that period, the report only shows disbursement of $102,000. 

Jerry Kerner– Raised this period: $15,100– Cash on hand: $2,500

3rd District
Republicans:

Michael Guest (incumbent)– Raised this period: $148,000– Cash on hand: $293,000
Michael Cassidy– Raised this period: $7,100– Cash on hand: $79,600
Thomas Griffin– No Report Showing

Democrats:

Shuwaski Young– Raised this period: $1,200– Cash on hand: $300

4th District
Republicans:

Steven Palazzo (incumbent)– Raised this period: $147,000– Cash on hand: $283,000
Carl Boyanton– Raised this period: $1,700– Cash on hand: $464,000
Raymond Brooks– Raised this period: $5,000– Cash on hand: $500
Mike Ezell– Raised this period: $19,000– Cash on hand: $77,000
Kidron Peterson– No Report Showing
Clay Wagner– Raised this period: $16,000– Cash on hand: $208,000
Brice Wiggins– Raised this period: $47,000– Cash on hand: $94,000

Democrats:

Johnny DuPree– Raised this period: $11,500– Cash on hand: $15,000
David Sellers– Raised this period: $3,000– Cash on hand: $3,400

Polls for the June 7th Primary will open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.  Any voter in line at 7 p.m. is legally entitled to cast a ballot. Check with your local Circuit Clerk if there is a question as to where you should vote on Tuesday. […]

Health

“George Washington” of the Mississippi Republican Party, Wirt Yerger, Jr., passed away

Yerger established the Republican Party in Mississippi, serving as State Chairman of the MSGOP from 1956 to 1966.
On Monday, Wirt Yerger, Jr., founding Chairman of the Mississippi Republican Party, passed away. In 2020, the Mississippi Top 50 announced Yerger as one of three honorees in the 2020 Hall of Fame.

Yerger received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Mississippi and served as First Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force’s Strategic Air Command from 1952 to 1954.
“In 1954 Wirt joined Ross & Yerger, Inc., Mississippi’s first insurance agency, founded in 1860.  During his forty-eight years of leadership, the agency grew from three employees to fifty-three.  In February 2002, Ross & Yerger became employee-owned, and Wirt continued to serve as Chairman Emeritus.  He was the first insurance agent in Mississippi to hold both the CPCU and CLU designations and was the first Mississippian invited to be an underwriting Name at Lloyd’s of London.  He also served as President of the Mississippi Association of Insurance Agents,” the obituary states.

Yerger was past president of Metropolitan Boys Club, Metropolitan YMCA and Jackson Rotary Club. He received the Jackson Junior Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Service Award in 1956 and 1960.
He also served as President of the Mississippi Association of Insurance Agents and was a former director of the Jackson Chamber of Commerce, the Mississippi Insurance Council, and the Community Foundation for Mississippi.
“Wirt gave unselfishly and generously to his community. He was a past president of Metropolitan Boys Club, Metropolitan YMCA and Jackson Rotary Club.  He received the Jackson Junior Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Service Award in 1956 and 1960.  He founded both the Metropolitan Crime Commission and Fondren Renaissance Foundation.  He was a former director of the Jackson Chamber of Commerce, the Mississippi Insurance Council, and the Community Foundation for Mississippi, establishing one of their first donor advised funds. He was a founding trustee of Jackson Preparatory School and a member of First Presbyterian Church, where he served as a Deacon,” the obituary continued.

Yerger was the leader in establishing the Republican Party in Mississippi, serving as State Chairman of the Mississippi Republican Party from 1956 to 1966. He was also the Chairman of the Southern Association of Republican State Chairmen.
His obituary states that in May 2009, he was honored as Mississippi Republican Party Chairman Emeritus for his work in building a two-party political system in Mississippi. He ended his speech by saying, “The best advice I give to you is always choose principles over pragmatism and power. Standing on principles is not easy, you get tired and discouraged, but the satisfaction of accomplishing all you can for a better nation is worth it all.”
Visitation be in Miller Hall at First Presbyterian Church on Tuesday, May 3rd from 3:30-6:00 p.m. A family burial service will be at Greenwood Cemetery on Wednesday, May 4th at 10:00 a.m., followed by a memorial service at 11:00 a.m. at First Presbyterian Church.
Mississippi GOP Chairman Frank Bordeaux stated that Chairman Wirt Yerger led the way for the modern-day Mississippi Republican Party.
“He brought the organization home, for the first time putting responsibility for the party’s management into the hands of those who lived, worked, and raised their families in Mississippi,” Bordeaux said in a statement. “A man of service to his core, Mr. Yerger also served his country in the U.S. military and his family as a loving husband and father. In losing him, Mississippi has lost an unwavering advocate, a strong conservative, and a friend. My prayers are with Mary and their three children, as they mourn the loss of this Mississippi icon.”
You can read the full obituary here.  […]

Health

BECKER: Russia may be just getting started in Eastern Europe

Submitted by Dr. Matthew Becker
“It is my belief that Russia will not stop at Transnistria if Moscow is successful,” Dr. Becker writes.
On April 22, General Rustam Minnekayev, of Russia’s Central Military District, stated that the “second phase” of the war is to expand beyond the Donbas and create a land bridge to Transnistria, which is a breakaway region of Moldova that shares a land border with Ukraine. Specifically, General Minnekayev said that “control over the south of Ukraine is another way out to Transnistria, where there is oppression of the Russian-speaking population.”
An attempt to legitimize control of occupied territories in Ukraine is to have referendums on independence in these oblasts, of which the outcomes are already known.
Transnistria has been de facto independent from Moldova since 1992 and is willing to be absorbed; Russian “peacekeepers” have also been present there since the Transnistrian War ended with a ceasefire.

On April 25-26, a radio tower and the building of the Transnistrian Ministry of State Security were attacked with grenades – false-flag attacks designed in an attempt to draw Transnistria and Moldova into renewed conflict. Overall, this points towards more brutal fighting ahead.
It is my belief that Russia will not stop at Transnistria if Moscow is successful, and the Western world loses interest in Ukraine as the war drags on.
The potential “third phase” would be a drive to connect the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad Oblast, which borders NATO members Poland and Lithuania. This action would entail the Russian military seizing the Suwalki Gap, which is the border between Poland and Lithuania – with Kaliningrad Oblast and Belarus on the two endpoints.

The Suwalki Gap is a mere 65 miles end-to-end. Those 65 miles between the exclave and Belarus (which Moscow is using as a staging area for its invasion of Ukraine) is NATO territory.
On April 25, U.S Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin stated after a visit to Kyiv that the U.S. goal in Ukraine is to “see Russia weakened to the degree that it can’t do the kinds of things that it has done in invading Ukraine.” For me, this statement is a tacit recognition that we are in a proxy war in the defense of the Baltic States and Poland.
We must therefore provide everything the Ukrainians ask for – including tanks, additional heavy artillery, and fighter aircraft. If we do not, we truly do risk a wider European war – specifically an attack on two NATO member-states, plus drawing in non-member Moldova.
As part of the defense of the Suwalki Gap, we must also heed the calls of Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, who has advocated for the U.S. to establish a permanent military base in her country. Estonia shares a land border with Russia and has a minority Russian-speaking population that may need “liberation” if Russia is not expelled from Ukraine.
I ask readers to contact your representatives to express your continued support to arm Ukraine as well as support of our Eastern flank NATO allies. Let’s provide the Ukrainians with the tools they need to defend the free world and expel Russia. Let’s defend NATO and democracy by defending Ukraine – otherwise, the Suwalki Gap will trigger Article V of the North Atlantic Treaty.
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Submitted by Dr. Matthew Becker. He teaches on politics and security issues in Eastern Europe at the University of Mississippi. He has a doctorate in Political Science from Ole Miss and a master’s in International Affairs from Florida State University. The views expressed are his own and do not reflect those of the university. He has visited Moldova and Transnistria. He may be reached at: [email protected] […]

Health

MCRAE: Lock in today’s tuition rates

Treasurer David McRae
By: Treasurer David McRae

Open enrollment in Mississippi’s pre-pay college affordability plan ends May 31.

College costs have increased 160 percent since 1980. Today, between tuition, room and board, books, and other expenses, a college education typically costs families around $27,000 annually for a public, in-state university and $55,000 annually for a private education, according to a 2021 College Board report. As a result, most rely on hefty loans that take years – if not decades – to pay back.

This year, seven of Mississippi’s eight public colleges are looking to increase tuition costs, with the only exception being Jackson State University. With a few exceptions, these annual tuition hikes are the norm, leading the U.S. News and World Report to predict that by 2030, annual public school tuition costs could reach $44,000.

Earlier this year, we asked Mississippians if they knew they could lock in today’s tuition rates, insulate themselves from future price hikes, and begin pre-paying their child’s tuition. Two out of every three Mississippians were unaware. That means, we still have work to do.

The Mississippi Prepaid Affordable College Tuition (MPACT) program has saved hundreds of Mississippi families thousands of dollars on tuition. Perhaps even more importantly, it has put an affordable college experience into the hands of many members of our future workforce.

You can enroll in the MPACT program at any time, but the earlier you start, the cheaper your monthly payments will be. Enrollment in the program, however, is limited. You must sign up by May 31, 2022 to secure today’s rates. Another open enrollment period will begin in September, but rates are expected to rise next season. To learn more, please visit Treasury.MS.gov/MPACT or call my office at (601) 359-3600.

The average Mississippi student graduates with $30,000 worth of debt. By enrolling in MPACT, you can dramatically reduce – and likely eliminate – that decades-long burden on your child or grandchild. I encourage you to explore this program before the open enrollment period ends on May 31 to lock in the best possible rates. Our office is here to help, if you have any questions. […]