As tends to happen in most to all election years, some races seem to have more mud slung than others and that is quickly becoming the case in the upcoming lieutenant governor’s Republican primary headlined by incumbent Delbert Hosemann and Sen. Chris McDaniel.
McDaniel, a Republican firebrand who has revolved most of his campaign around “Delbert the Democrat,” has used stop after stop to try and convince voters that Hosemann – a lifelong Republican– is actually a “RINO,” or “Republican In Name Only.”
In the latest advertisement paid for by the “Invest in Mississippi PAC,” McDaniel supporters continue to preach what many voters along the campaign trail have already heard: McDaniel’s belief that Hosemann is pro-abortion due to Hosemann’s history working at a women’s clinic in south Jackson.
“Hosemann proudly declares himself as pro-life, but guess where he served as vice president? None other than the South Jackson Woman’s Clinic, an abortion clinic that has since been shuttered,” part of the advertisement boasts. “What kind of leader serves as vice president of an abortion clinic?”
Hosemann, who has stayed mostly quiet and let McDaniel sling all the mud up until this point, broke his silence on the matter Wednesday afternoon, calling McDaniel “a pathological liar and a coward.”
“Chris McDaniel is a pathological liar and a coward. His latest stunt involves totally false accusations using a newly organized dark money PAC illegally run by his own campaign staffers to defame me and my faith,” a portion of a tweet from Hosemann reads. “I have always fought to protect the sanctity of life. This is why I am the ONLY candidate in the Lt. Governor’s race endorsed by the National Right to Life and Mississippi Right to Life.”
Per a report from the Associated Press, Michael Goldberg revealed that Hosemann was listed on documents filed by the South Jackson Woman’s Clinic with the secretary of state’s office until 1989. However, the clinic’s president wrote in a 1998 memo that Hosemann only provided services to the clinic from 1977 to 1981, prior to abortions being performed at the now-defunct clinic.
Before McDaniel responded to a request from SuperTalk Mississippi News, the four-term senator did address the AP’s findings in the private Senator Chris McDaniel Group on Facebook Wednesday night around 7 p.m.
“BREAKING: It’s a proven fact that Delbert Hosemann was the VICE-PRESIDENT of an abortion clinic from 1976 to 1990. He’s lying to you. Again,” McDaniel wrote, sharing a picture of filings with the secretary of state. “The only person to ever come to his defense was the abortion doctor himself, claiming that Delbert was not associated with the clinic after 1981, but that is another LIE – as if anyone should ever trust a man who kills babies for a living.”
Hosemann, who has not fired back at this time, said in his original social media post that McDaniel’s pro-abortion accusation is a trick from his opponent, whose 2014 bid for Congress resulted in one supporter being arrested and eventually sentenced for breaking into the incumbent’s ill wife’s nursing home room. It has never been proven that McDaniel or his team played any role in the incident.
“It is nothing short of disgraceful, but not surprising considering his past conduct, the worst of which involved his supporters photographing an opponent’s ill family member at a nursing home,” Hosemann continued.
Less than three weeks out from the Aug. 8 primary, politicos expect the race to get only uglier as shots have now been taken by both sides. While McDaniel has used campaign events, flyers, and TV and radio ads to allege that Hosemann wants to break up Republican-led judicial districts, is submissive to Democratic peers, and is even anti-Trump, Hosemann maintains that his challenger is full of “lies, deceit, and hatefulness.”