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|Attorney General of Mississippi|
|Bachelor's||Delta State University|
|Master's||Delta State University|
|J.D.||University of Mississippi Law School|
Most recently, Simpson served for nearly three years as Commissioner of the Mississippi Department of Public Safety. He resigned his position after suggestions his campaign for state attorney general violated the federal Hatch Act's prohibition against administrators of federally funded programs at the state or local level from running for an elective office. He served as a judge on Mississippi's 2nd Circuit Court from 2000 to 2008 and was an assistant district attorney for Mississippi's 2nd district from 1992 to 1996. Simpson also owned and operated a private law firm with his brother Jim, Simpson & Simpson, from 1990 to 1992.
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. He and his wife, Elizabeth, have three daughters.
2011 campaign for Attorney General
Simpson's campaign website offers six different policy priorities:
- 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 has 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 ("Obamacare"). Noting that outgoing Governor Haley Barbour had opposed the law, Simpson argued it would hurt Mississippi's economy.
State Executive elections
| Kentucky • Louisiana |
Mississippi • West Virginia
|Gubernatorial • Lt. Governor |
Attorney General • Secretary of State
Down ballot offices: (KY, LA, MS)
|News • Calendar|
|Attorney General of Mississippi, 2011|
|Democratic||Jim Hood Incumbent||61.1%||536,827|
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.
Possible Hatch Act violation
Simpson has battled controversy in the first months of his campaign, which he may have actually launched in violation of state law. He formally announced he would be a candidate 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. 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.
- ↑ WDAM.com, "Simpson resigns to run for Attorney General," February 4, 2011.
- ↑ Steve Simpson for Attorney General, "Priorities," accessed July 25, 2011.
- ↑ SunHerald.com, "Hood and Simpson sound off on attorney general race," July 24, 2011.
- ↑ Y'all Politics/Clarion-Ledger, "Steve Simpson satisfies tax debt to remove lien," July 28, 2011.
- ↑ MS360.com, "Simpson says he’s ‘not a candidate,’ so no Hatch Act violation," January 27, 2011.
- ↑ Mississippi Business Journal, "Simpson resigning as public safety commissioner," February 6, 2011.