Joe Nosef rallies Republicans in Oxford Tuesday for crucial key election
Published 9:24 am Thursday, February 16, 2017
Local elections have the most direct impact of any and the state chairman for the Republican Party is making sure the word gets out that a municipal election is coming up in Mississippi.
Joe Nosef was in Oxford Tuesday as part of a statewide campaign to meet with fellow members of the GOP and potential Republican candidates prior to the March 3 qualifying deadline for the municipal election.
The municipal primary election is May 2 and the municipal general election is set for June 6.
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With the national election just finishing, Nosef wants to make sure people are aware of the upcoming election.
“It’s always a challenge for us to bring the amount of attention to the municipal elections as we think there should be,” Nosef said. “Because of this being a special year where people are focused more on the national issues, we wanted to make sure people didn’t look up and the municipal election be here.”
He said voter turnout is very important in municipal elections, which can often times be settled by very slim margins. He has also spent some time talking to candidates who may have questions about the election, as well as voters.
While 2016 was an opportunity for the Mississippi Republican party to build off the momentum of winning the national election, it was also a party building year for the state GOP with county and state conventions. Nosef, who has served as chairman of the state GOP since 2012, was elected once again to lead the state party.
“We feel we have a lot of momentum statewide, but we also view we could take it for granted and look up and have a change we’re not expecting,” Nosef said. He’s well aware that 15 years ago the GOP controlled one of the eight state elected positions but now has seven of the eight state elected offices.
“We always say ‘we don’t just want to win the argument, we want to win the election’ and the reason is you can’t impact policy unless you’re in office,” Nosef said. “But when you get in office you have expectations.”
As far as the Republican Party in Lafayette County, Nosef said it’s a unique dynamic when it comes to politics in Oxford. He should know since he spent eight years earning both an undergraduate and master’s degree from Ole Miss and the UM School of Law.
“I love Oxford,” said Nosef, a Jackson attorney who also has a daughter attending Ole Miss. “But Oxford is a challenging place for the Republican Party. We think we’ve done well, but we want to have realistic expectations and try to make sure we have good candidates for offices in Oxford and Lafayette County.”
He praised county chairman Brad Mayo and past chairman, Jeffrey Yost.
“They’ve done a lot of work here,” Nosef said.
The major municipal office up for grabs in Oxford is the mayor’s race where Pat Patterson has not decided to seek re-election and only one candidate, Democrat Robyn Tannehill, has qualified.
When asked about the Oxford mayor race, Nosef said there has been an internal discussion about a Republican candidate.
“We have plenty of time before the qualifying deadline,” Nosef said.
As far as the future of the Republican Party in Mississippi, Nosef said they will continue to focus their core beliefs — fiscal responsibility/ taxes, education and religious freedom.
“We are trying to make sure to ignore the shiny objects and stay on the main issues,” Nosef said.
He also encourages residents to register for the election and cast a ballot.
“Republicans feel like when we talk about the issues, we do better and the more people who vote and participate in the process we have a better chance to win,” Nosef said.