GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - With a statewide election this Tuesday, attorney general candidate Mike Hurst spent Sunday playing what he hopes will be the ace that helps him win: South Mississippi.
"The Mississippi Gulf Coast is really a key part of our strategy to win statewide," he said. "And we know if we can flip these three counties and win them, then we can take back the attorney general's office."
Hurst met with supporters at Bayou Bluff Tennis Club in Gulfport Sunday to get his conservative message across to those of voting age, and a few a little younger. And he has high hopes.
"In about two days, we're going to do something that we've never done here in Mississippi before," he said to the group. "We're going to elect our first ever Republican attorney general in the state of Mississippi."
Frank Genzer is a fan.
"Republicans throughout this state have been looking for a Republican attorney general for a long, long time," he said.
The campaign between Hurst and incumbent Jim Hood hasn't been completely clean. Barbs have been thrown from both sides with the latest Hood television ad calling Hurst a "corporate lap dog who'd go easy on corporate corruption." The latest Hurst campaign calls Hood "a Democrat and professional politician who is desperate to keep his job."
Hurst puts the blame on Hood for the negative bent.
"I've never run for political office," he said. "My opponent has been in elected office for 20 years. So maybe that's what you do when you're in elected office that long. You call people names, you say they're like dogs, whatever. But at the end of the day, we put the issues out there."
He said his stance against Obamacare, EPA expansion, and Planned Parenthood, as well as other conservative issues will be the difference to break what some pollsters are calling a near even race.
"Nobody is standing up for us," Hurst said, "and I think that's why it's so contentious this year and frankly so close."
Incumbent Jim Hood spent Sunday in north Mississippi attending church with this family, and making phone calls to supporters, but he had no official public campaign stops. Hood is scheduled to participate in a radio interview Monday with Rip Daniels on WJZD (94.5-FM), but his campaign couldn't give a specific time when it would air.