|Attorney General of Mississippi|
|2004 - Present|
|Years in position||10|
|Predecessor||Mike Moore (D)|
|Elections and appointments|
|Last election||November 8, 2011|
|Next general||November 2015|
|J.D.||University of Mississippi (1988)|
|Place of birth||New Houlka, Mississippi|
- 1 Biography
- 2 Political Career
- 3 Elections
- 4 Campaign donors
- 5 Recent news
- 6 Personal
- 7 Contact Information
- 8 See also
- 9 External links
- 10 References
Hood had been considered a potential candidate for governor in 2011, but he ultimately opted for another try as attorney general in 2011. He claimed the Democratic nomination unopposed on August 2, 2011 and defeated former state public safety commissioner, Steve Simpson, in the November general election in 2011.
Prior to becoming attorney general, Hood served as the Third Judicial District Attorney in North Mississippi. In that job, he tried more than 100 jury cases and therefore was able to bring a substantial amount of trial experience to the Attorney General's office. One of his better-known trial victories came in 2005 when he successfully prosecuted Edgar Ray Killen for the 1964 murders of three civil rights workers.
Since first assuming office as Mississippi's chief law enforcement official in 2004, Hood has carved out a niche for himself as an advocate for the rights of crime victims and worked to develop initiatives that are specifically targeted at "Mississippi's most vulnerable citizens" -- children and the elderly. He and his staff founded the Cyber Crime Unit and Fusion Center, housed within the Public Integrity Divisions of the office of the Secretary of State. The unit serves as a hub which state, federal, and local agencies can utilize in order to investigate and prosecute internet predators who target children and vulnerable adults. They also created two other units within the division of public integrity - a vulnerable adults unit, and a domestic violence unit - and a separate Crime Prevention and Victims Services division.
Hood's current term expires in January of 2016. He is eligible for re-election in 2015 although he has yet to announce whether he will run for re-election to his current post or perhaps pursue a bid for higher office, as was anticipated prior to the 2011 electoral cycle.
A fifth generation Mississippian born in New Houlka, Mississippi, Hood is an avid outdoorsman and hunter. He attended law school at the University of Mississippi and has worked in the public sector ever since.
After earning his J.D. in December of 1988, Hood clerked for Mississippi State Supreme Court Justice Armis Hawkins. He then spent eight years as a District Attorney for the Third Circuit Court District in North Mississippi. Most recently, Hood served for five years under former Attorney General Mike Moore as a special assistant attorney general in the Drug Asset Forfeiture Unit.
- Chickasaw County Public Schools
- J.D. - The University of Mississippi (1988)
Mississippi Attorney General (2003-present)
Hood was first elected in 2003. He won re-election in 2007 and again in 2011.
The day after the United States House of Representatives narrowly passed the Senate reconciliation bill on health care reform, Republican Governor of Mississippi Haley Barbour called upon the state's attorney general to "challenge the federal government over the constitutionality of requiring individuals to purchase health insurance." He threatened that if Hood refused to do so then he would act on the state's behalf in his stead.
Despite Barbour setting noon on Thursday, March 25, 2010, as the deadline for Hood to decide whether or not to pursue litigation against the federal government on the issue of health care reform, the Mississippi Attorney General's office stated that it needed more time to review the legislation before reaching a decision. Furthermore, Hood argued, the governor "is not authorized to file suit while the attorney general's office completes its review."
While promising not to interfere with the governor's suit, Hood did, however, argue that he believed it would be "cheaper for Mississippi to join the lawsuit once it gets to the U.S. Supreme Court, if some viable cause of action arises during the years of litigation."
Mississippi Sunshine Act
On May 22, 2012, Gov. Phil Bryant (R) signed a bill, effective July 1, 2012, which restricted the power of the attorney general. Dubbed the Mississippi Sunshine Act, House Bill 211 addressed the need, according to the law's supporters, to "rein in the troublesome practice of awarding contingency fee contracts to plaintiffs' lawyers who are also major campaign contributors to the state attorney general." The issue stemmed from the office's ability to personally select private lawyers whose contracts and fees are arranged at the attorney general's discretion. The Sunshine Law requires the attorney general to appoint outside counsel to represent a state agency or elected official in the event that the attorney general either refuses, or is in conflict with the agency or official. Once it takes effect, an attorney general will no longer be able to unilaterally bring suits on behalf of a state agency or elected official. Instead, an agency or elected official will have seven working days to object and seek out alternate counsel. That outside counsel would then be subject to approval by a commission comprised of the governor, lieutenant governor, and secretary of state. If an objection is made, the attorney general would have to withdraw from representing the agency.
It also requires outside counsel to keep detailed time and expense records and caps the total fee paid to contingency lawyers at $50 million.
Hood, according to the Associated Press, claimed the law is unconstitutional and threatened to sue over limits to his power. He also took issue with the partisan composition of the commission, to which he - as the lone Democratic statewide elected official - will have to submit under certain conditions in the future.
The June 2008 Survey and Scorecard report published by liberal political organization, ACORN, gave Hood an A letter grade. The report was published to shine the spotlight on state attorneys general "leading the fight to protect homeowners from joining the flood of Americans losing their homes to foreclosure," according to the group. The grade distributed to the individual attorneys general "generally broke down along party lines," with the exception of Louisiana's Buddy Caldwell.
American Tort Reform Association (ATRA), a non-profit political action committee formed in 1986 for the express purpose of advocating in favor of tort reform, has, for a number of years, published a report called Judicial Hellholes that identifies "areas of the country where the scales of justice are radically out of balance" and provides "solutions for restoring balance, accuracy, and predictability to the American civil justice system." While the report has primarily focused on state judicial figures such as judges, a subsection entitled Dangerous Liaisons: Some State Attorneys General Offer Contingency Fee Contracts to Politically Supportive Outside Counsel shifts attention to state attorneys general who have also contributed "to growing concerns in the business community about the ability of defendants to receive fair trials."
One of the individuals highlighted in the 2008/2009 edition of the annual report was Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood. It was his ethically questionable practice of "pay-to-play" or "pay-to-sue," whereby "lawyers who contribute to the campaigns of the state’s highest ranking attorney can then get a contract for a piece of the action and, in some cases, develop the action themselves and get a go-ahead to pursue it in the state’s name," that drew the ire of the ATRA. Within a period of five years, Hood's office hired twenty-seven law firms to represent the state of Mississippi in twenty separate lawsuits. The private legal practices selected by Hood himself contributed nearly $535,000 in his two campaigns for the state's AG office. The list of these individuals includes Richard Scraggs (contributed $30,000) who "has since been disbarred and is serving a federal prison sentence for an unrelated conspiracy to bribe a Mississippi judge" and plantiff counsel Joey Langston (contributed $130,000), who, prior to pleading guilty to bribing a judge, received $14 million in legal fees from the $100 million settlement with MCI/WorldCom in 2005.
On March 21, 2010, Hood announced his intention to run again in 2011, quieting rumors that he might run for governor. He claimed the Democratic nomination unopposed on August 2, 2011 and defeated former state public safety commissioner, Steve Simpson, in November.
|Attorney General of Mississippi, 2011|
|Democratic||Jim Hood Incumbent||61.1%||536,827|
State Executive elections
| Kentucky • Louisiana |
Mississippi • West Virginia
|Gubernatorial • Lt. Governor |
Attorney General • Secretary of State
Down ballot offices: (KY, LA, MS)
|News • Calendar|
- Jim Hood ran unopposed in the 2007 Democratic primary election
- 2007 Race for Attorney General - General Election
|2007 Race for Attorney General - General Election|
|Democratic Party||Jim Hood||59.8%|
|Republican Party||Al Hopkins||40.2%|
- Jim Hood ran unopposed in 2003 Democratic primary election
- 2003 Race for Attorney General - General Election
|2003 Race for Attorney General - General Election|
|Democratic Party||Jim Hood||62.7%|
|Republican Party||Scott Newton||37.3%|
Comprehensive donor information for Hood is available dating back to 2003. Based on available campaign finance records, Hood raised a total of $5,378,905 during that time period. This information was last updated on July 8, 2013.
Ballotpedia collects information on campaign donors for each year in which a candidate or incumbent is running for election. The following table offers a breakdown of Jim Hood's donors each year. Click [show] for more information.
|Jim Hood's Campaign Contributions|
Attorney General of Mississippi
Attorney General of Mississippi
Attorney General of Mississippi
|Total Raised by General Election Opponent||$979,327 (Republican)||$1,666,826 (Republican)||$789,856 (Republican)|
|Top 5 contributors||Jim Hood||$426,982||DAGA Mississippi||$850,000||Magnolia Democratic Attorneys General Association||$400,000|
|Democratic Attorneys General Association||$300,000||Democratic Attorneys General Association||$300,000||Democratic Attorneys General Association||$150,000|
|Lynn Davis||$21,000||Kenneth F Bailey||$50,000||Labaton Sucharow LLP||$55,000|
|Beverly Enterprises||$16,000||Richard Scruggs||$33,000||Kenneth F Bailey, Jr.||$50,000|
|Joey Langston||$10,875||Alice McInerney||$30,000||Morgan & Morgan||$50,000|
This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "Jim + Hood + Mississippi + Attorney"
- All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.
Hood currently resides in Mississippi with his wife, Debbie, and their three children - Rebecca, Matthew, and Annabelle.
MS Attorney General's Office
Post Office Box 220
Jackson, MS 39205
MS Attorney General's Office
Walter Sillers Building
550 High Street, Suite 1200
Jackson, MS 39201
- Official Mississippi Attorney General website
- Official campaign website for Jim Hood
- Project Vote Smart - Jim Hood biography
- Mississippi Attorney General, "About your attorney general," May 11, 2011
- Mississippi Business Journal', "Hood going for another term," March 21, 2010
- National Association of Attorneys General, "Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood," May 11, 2011
- The Clarion Ledger, "Bill draws praise, fire" 23 March, 2010
- The Dispatch, "AG wants more time to study health care law before filing suit" 25 March, 2010
- The Commercial Appeal, "State AG still considering federal health care lawsuit" 28 March, 2010
- The Mississippi Link, "Attorney general won't stop health care lawsuit" 12 April, 2010
- Forbes, "Mississippi Reins In Use Of Contigency-Fee Lawyers," May 21, 2012
- The Wall Street Journal- Market Watch, "U.S. Chamber Applauds Signing of Landmark Mississippi Outside Counsel Sunshine Law," May 22, 2012 (dead link)
- Bryant signs law limiting attorney general's power," May 21, 2012 (dead link)
- ACORN "Attorneys General Take Action: Real Leadership in Fighting Foreclosures" June 2008
- Majority in Mississippi, "Jim Hood Received An “A” From ACORN In 2008" 17 Sept. 2009
- ATR Foundation - Judicial Hellholes 2009/2010 (dead link)
- Respond Mississippi, "Mississippi's Dangerous Liason: Jim Hood" 12 Jan. 2009 (dead link)
- Mississippi Secretary of State, "Certification of vote for state office of attorney general (page 11), Dec 13, 2007
- Mississippi Secretary of State, "Certification of votes for state officers (page 8), Dec 2003
- Follow the Money, "Career fundraising for Jim Hood," accessed July 17, 2013
- Follow the Money.org
Mike Moore (D)
|Mississippi Attorney General
| Succeeded by|