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STARKVILLE — One of the state’s best-known and most influential political journalists of the 1970s and 1980s died last week after a courageous battle with cancer. I will sorely miss him.

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Richard Roberson minces no words when he hears people argue that there’s no reason to expand Medicaid to the working poor since they can already get free medical care at hospital emergency rooms if they can’t afford to pay for it.

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MERIDIAN — Roughly 95,000 more Mississippians voted in the Republican primary this year than four years ago, a 34% increase. This pushed Republican turnout over Democratic turnout for the first time. These new GOP primary voters could noticeably impact the Aug. 27 runoffs.

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STARKVILLE — The Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids in Scott County and other Mississippi locales where there are large-scale poultry-processing operations are more than headlines to me.

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RIDGELAND — On Aug. 3 1971, there were seven persons on the ballot for governor in Mississippi’s first Democratic primary. Lt. Gov. Charles Sullivan, a longtime Mississippi politician, was heavily favored to win. Former Hinds County District Attorney Bill Waller was considered his chief riva…

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On election night, a colleague pointed me to a map on The New York Times website that illustrated the winners in each of Mississippi’s 82 counties in the Republican gubernatorial primary.

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BATON ROUGE, La. — James Williams, an attorney and the chairman of the Louisiana State University Board of Supervisors, told the 609 graduates at LSU’s summer commencement last Friday that there are three kinds of graduates: magna cum laude, cum laude and “Thank you, Lawdy.”

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STARKVILLE – It’s been 20 years since mass shootings became part of the national lexicon in America with the Columbine, Colorado, massacre.

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OXFORD — There was no shortage of self-styled “pro-Trump conservatives” in this month’s Mississippi Republican primaries.

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JACKSON — That time-tested adage “be careful what you wish for” could prove prophetic for the gubernatorial campaign of Democratic Attorney General Jim Hood.

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MERIDIAN — The last and only Republican to hold the office of attorney general in Mississippi was George E. Harris back in 1877. As Republicans began their surge to take over statewide offices in the early 1990s, Mike Moore and Jim Hood easily held on to the position for Democrats.

MADISON — Normally, I don’t like to be wrong. But I wouldn’t mind being wrong about next Tuesday’s Republican gubernatorial primary.

Tate Reeves may be in trouble. That probably surprises some of you. It is significant, as he recently suggested, that he may be in a runoff. If that happens, all bets are off — anything can happen in a runoff.

OXFORD — The July murder of a pretty Ole Miss coed is eerily similar to one that occurred about 33 years ago when the daughter of a couple who then lived in Magnolia was sexually assaulted and slain in her off-campus apartment in Oxford.

Tuesday’s Republican governor debate didn’t provide any major revelations, but it did give some insights into the most important race facing Mississippi voters this year.

STARKVILLE — American politics has unfortunately long since devolved into a predictable battle between voters on the nation’s east and west coasts and in the largest cities who are predominantly liberal/progressive/socialist and rural voters in the nation’s “flyover” sections of the South, t…

JACKSON — “It’s the economy, stupid,” of course, was the mantra of the Clinton presidential campaign in 1992 challenging incumbent George H.W. Bush.

OXFORD — Vocational education is one thing on which you can get all the Mississippi gubernatorial candidates to agree.

MERIDIAN — Happy with the way things are going in Mississippi and want to stay the course? Then Tate Reeves is probably your choice for governor. Stay the course is pretty much his campaign message.

STARKVILLE — The death of retired University of Mississippi historian David Sansing is an event that should give all Mississippians pause, for we have lost one of the great, important voices urging our state to move forward.

RIDGELAND — The whole enterprise of higher learning in the United States has been under an ongoing siege in recent years. Most of the abuse has been cast from the right. Tales of safe spaces and trigger warnings for certain student cohorts confirm a suspicion that college has become an expen…

JACKSON — It’s a political year, and I was happy to see all the major politicians show up at the Mississippi Press Convention in Biloxi. This week, I’m highlighting the Republican primary for governor:

When Robert Hopkins lost his brother Mark two years ago in the Yanky 72 plane crash on the western edge of Leflore County, the blow seemed to affect everything, even the way he looked at the sky at the end of the day.

JACKSON — July Fourth is a great holiday. Family, burgers, swimming pools, iced tea. It’s a fun, relaxing holiday. An added bonus, so far this summer has been remarkably mild.

MADISON — So, as Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren says to start nearly every sentence, I’m done with presidential candidate debates, at least until January.

OXFORD — I was reared in a working family that probably would have been described as middle class in the mid-20th century.

JACKSON — When my son Lawrence was about 13, he had a T-shirt with the words “I make it look easy” printed on it.

We love our pets and mourn their passing, sometimes not quite understanding why their deaths leave such an emotional void.

COLUMBIA — The Mississippi Hospital Association says it’s found a way to accept $1.35 billion annually in federal money to expand health insurance for the poor without costing the state anything.

MERIDIAN — “People, not the government, know best how to take care of their own money” is one of Gov. Phil Bryant’s favorite themes.

JACKSON — Mississippi is being sued yet again, and a trial is underway at the federal courthouse in downtown Jackson. This time it’s about the state’s handling of mental health issues.

JACKSON — Bobby Morgan, a spokesperson for Gov. Phil Bryant, said the governor will not endorse a candidate in the Republican primary for attorney general.

MERIDIAN — Successful DeSoto County small businessman Robert Foster is one of the more conservative members of the Mississippi Legislature.  The American Conservative Union gave him a 95% “conservative” rating in 2018.

JACKSON — Billions of dollars in local and state bonds are being issued without competitive bidding. Many of the leading state experts in Mississippi bidding laws are wondering why. It used to not be this way.

MADISON — A year ago, I was diagnosed with cancer. Not an anniversary worth celebrating.

STARKVILLE — Speaking to the Delta Council annual meeting in Cleveland recently, United Parcel Service Chairman and CEO David Abney — a Mississippi Delta native who leads the world’s largest package delivery company — strongly advocated for increases in both federal and state fuel taxes to f…

When it comes to the debate over whether a massive pumping project in the South Delta is both financially and environmentally responsible, people on both sides of the argument throw out numbers to make their case.

McCOMB — The debate over abortion has been making plenty of news. State legislatures opposed to it, including Alabama’s and Mississippi’s, have passed restrictive laws in search of a court case to overturn the Roe v. Wade ruling. And pressure from Democratic presidential candidates who favor…

JACKSON — I have been working on just the right words to say to the four or five people who call me every day and say, “I received a call from this number.”

STARKVILLE — In what would be his final studio album, the inimitable Mississippi blues legend B.B. King in 2008 covered the 1927 Bessie Smith classic “Backwater Blues” in a style that made the heartbreaking tune all his own: “I climbed up on the high lonely hill/ Oh, I climbed up on the high…

OXFORD — The Daily Journal of Tupelo, in observance of the 75th anniversary of D-Day, printed reproductions of four front pages from 1944 in a special section of this year’s June 6 edition.

MERIDIAN — Important issues in the Republican primary for governor are getting short shrift.

STARKVILLE — A Democratic New Jersey congressman recently vented his contempt for so-called “moocher states” like Mississippi that receive more money from the federal government than they send back to Washington in the form of taxes.

MADISON — Thursday will be the 75th anniversary of D-Day, one of the most decisive days in history.

RIDGELAND — In March 1996, I took three social work students from Mississippi Valley State University to Washington. There they spent three days learning and practicing the art of congressional lobbying under the tutelage of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW). Concurrent with …