AG Hood considers 2019 run for governor

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Attorney General Jim Hood Speaks at Stennis Institute Luncheon July 7.

Gabriel Austin/Mississippi Today

Attorney General Jim Hood

Attorney General Jim Hood is considering whether he will run for Mississippi governor in 2019.

Speaking at a press gathering Thursday afternoon, Hood did not rule out a gubernatorial bid, citing family and financial considerations as factors in his decision. He is the only Democrat holding statewide elected office.

“I don’t know the answer to your question at this point,” Hood said when asked of a potential run. “I do know that we’ve got to change what we’re doing over there. We can’t keep on doing what they’re doing over there right now.”

Since the Legislature signed off on a law that sweeps many agencies’ special funds into the general fund earlier this year, Hood has criticized both the legislative leadership and the governor for the law and called into question the legality of parts of it. The law called for a sweep of $187 million, but Hood said at least $79.4 million of that money cannot be included.

“The problem is when the legislators can’t tell you what’s going on,” Hood said. “The leaders can’t tell you. They obviously do not know. When people don’t know about the budget, there’s trouble in the making.”

Hood is serving his 13th year as Mississippi Attorney General. He has represented the state in numerous cases, including the prosecution of Edgar Ray Killen, who killed three civil rights workers during the 1964 Freedom Summer. He has also received national awards for his focus on the state’s cyber crimes division, which locates and prosecutes Internet predators.

In 2015, his most recent reelection bid, he raised nearly $2 million and fended off Republican challenger Mike Hurst by 10 percentage points (55-45).

When asked this week if he would consider another AG bid, Hood said he has not ruled that out as a possibility.

“I love what I do,” he said. “I have a good bit to consider. … I’ll have to cross that bridge when I get to it.