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Steve Simpson

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Steve Simpson
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Former candidate for
Attorney General of Mississippi
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 8, 2011
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
Mississippi Department of Public Safety Commissioner
Bachelor'sDelta State University
Master'sDelta State University
J.D.University of Mississippi Law School
Campaign website
Stephen "Steve" Simpson was the Republican candidate for Attorney General of Mississippi in 2011. He was unopposed in the primary and fell to incumbent Democrat Jim Hood in the general election on November 8, 2011. He served as commissioner of the Mississippi Department of Public Safety from May 2008-February 2011, when he resigned to pursue his campaign for attorney general.[1]


Most recently, Simpson served for nearly three years as Mississippi Department of Public Safety Commissioner. He resigned his position after suggestions his campaign for state attorney general violated the federal Hatch Act, which prohibits administrators of federally funded programs at the state or local level from seeking elective office. Simpson previously served as a judge on Mississippi's 2nd Circuit Court from 2000-2008 and was an assistant district attorney for Mississippi's 2nd District from 1992-1996. Simpson also owned and operated a private law firm with his brother Jim, Simpson & Simpson, from 1990-1992.[2]

He holds a J.D. from the University of Mississippi Law School, as well as a B.S. and an M.Ed. from Delta State University.


  • B.S. - Delta State University
  • M.Ed. - Delta State University
  • J.D. - University of Mississippi Law School

Political career

Mississippi Department of Public Safety (2008-2011)

Simpson served as a commissioner on the Mississippi Department of Public Safety from 2008 to 2011.


State Executive elections

MississippiWest Virginia

GubernatorialLt. Governor
Attorney GeneralSecretary of State
Down ballot offices: (KY, LA, MS)



See also: Mississippi Attorney General election, 2011

Simpson claimed the Republican nomination for Attorney General of Mississippi unopposed in the August 2 primary. He fell to incumbent Democrat Jim Hood in the general election on November 8, 2011.


General election
Attorney General of Mississippi, 2011
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngJim Hood Incumbent 61.1% 536,827
     Republican Steve Simpson 38.9% 342,086
Total Votes 878,913

Campaign themes


Simpson's campaign website listed six different policy priorities:[3]

  • Reducing public corruption by prosecuting corrupt officials
  • Prosecuting criminals and child predators
  • Protecting consumers by prosecuting any "corporate wrongdoer"
  • Fighting "Obamacare" and overreaching federal mandates
  • Improving transparency by establishing a "request for proposal" process for state government contracts.
  • Promoting disaster awareness and limiting post-disaster fraud.

Simpson criticized his opponent, Democratic incumbent Jim Hood, for failing to join the multi-state lawsuit against President Barack Obama's Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Noting that outgoing Governor Haley Barbour had opposed the law, Simpson argued it would hurt Mississippi's economy.[4]


Unpaid taxes

During his 2011 campaign for Attorney General of Mississippi, Simpson was criticized for running up $5,760 in unpaid state property taxes on his Gulfport, MS home. He ultimately paid the debt on March 13, 2011, explaining that jumbled paperwork in the wake of Hurricane Katrina kept him from paying his taxes on time. According to Simpson, after he refinanced his home mortgage in 2005, his mortgage servicer stopped including property taxes in his monthly mortgage payments without his knowledge. As a result, he was unaware the taxes were not being paid until he received a bill for his missed payments.[5]

Possible Hatch Act violation

Simpson battled controversy in the first months of his campaign, which some contended he launched in violation of state law. He formally announced his candidacy in January 2011 while still serving as Mississippi's Commissioner of Public Safety. State media outlets immediately suggested this could be interpreted as a violation of the federal Hatch Act, which prohibits appointed state executives that administer federally funded programs from running in a partisan political campaign.[6] Insisting that he was not technically a candidate because he had not yet filed registration paperwork, a claim U.S. attorney for southern Mississippi Brad Pigott called specious, Simpson resigned as commissioner on February 15.[7]


Simpson and his wife, Elizabeth, have three daughters.

Recent news

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See also

External links

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