Political Note #208   Jennifer Riley Collins   Mississippi Attorney General

2019                              General Election

Mississippi has a Democratic Attorney General. Jim Hood. He is running for Governor. The Democrat running for Attorney General this year is Jennifer Riley Collins https://www.jenniferforag.com/ – an African American woman.

Local. She would have to be. She is from Meridian. She joined the military in 1985, graduated from Alcorn State College, Claiborne County, Mississippi in 1987. Magna Cum Laude. She earned a master’s degree from the University of Central Texas in criminal justice administration. She got that degree in a single year while also on Active Duty. In 1999, she got her JD from Mississippi College School of Law. She had moved from an Historically Black College to a private university serving the military at Fort Hood to one of only two law schools in Mississippi – the one at a private Christian University.

When Jennifer Riley Collins left the military after thirty-two years, she had had a career. She was on active duty for 14 years, in the reserves and the national guard for 18. She had been a counterintelligence platoon leader, the commander of a special security group at Fort Meade, MD. In Kuwait, she served as a Plans and Operations Officer. Ultimately, in Mississippi, she was the Command Inspector General for the Camp Shelby Joint Force Training Center.

Jennifer Riley Collins had a career after leaving the army. For three years she was a staff attorney for the Southern Poverty Law Center. She then became the Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union for Mississippi.

The work of the Mississippi Civil Liberties Union under Jennifer Riley Collins’ leadership included the following. The MCLU:

Sought to establish Fourth Amendment privacy right rules at the border for searching electronic equipment in United States of America v. Maria Isabel Molina-Isidoro. Customs agents found meth in Molina-Isidoro’s luggage – a permitted search. They looked at apps on her phone and found conversations about distributing the drugs, allowing prosecution for a more serious crime. The Fifth Circuit ruled that there was probable cause to search the phone.

In Alford v Moulder, successfully stayed the implementation of Mississippi’s HB 1523 which defined marriage as between a man and a woman. A stay allowed Nykolas Alford and Stephen Thomas to be married in Mississippi. The Federal District Court overturned that statute.

In Brown v Madison County, sought to end the Madison County Sheriff’s office stop and seizure policy exercised against people driving, walking, or even at home. The Sheriff’s office targeted African Americans five times as often as whites in this county where African Americans are less than 40% of the County population. The case was accepted a class action lawsuit on behalf of the African American population of Madison County and continues in the District Court of the Southern District of Mississippi.

Jennifer Riley Collins’ military background is more than welcome among all Mississippians. Can she persuade Mississippians to vote for someone from the Southern Poverty Law Center and the American Civil Liberties Union?

Jennifer Riley Collins starts with a Mississippian approach to the job. She says she is called by God to serve and protect. Exactly what the Attorney General does.   The Attorney General is obliged to ensure that justice is served for all Mississippians.

Jennifer Riley Collins doesn’t talk about race in the campaign. Instead, she says she wants to protect vulnerable populations, combat the opioid epidemic, strengthen protections for victims of crime, and to fight for working people. Worthy goals.

Jennifer Riley Collins doesn’t talk about race in the campaign. A Democrat in Mississippi needs to win the black vote overwhelmingly plus the votes of enough whites to get there. The black vote can be as much as 38% of the vote im a general election. A Democrat who gets more than 20% of the white vote can win. Jim Hood did it. A few times. Can Jennifer Riley Collins do it?

Will the people of Mississippi respond to a woman who is ex-military, religious, and an African American civil rights lawyer? We can give Jennifer Riley Collins https://www.jenniferforag.com/ a chance to find out. We can provide her with some resources so that an effective campaign can get her elected Attorney General. We don’t know who her Republican opponent will be. The Republican primary is on August 6. A runoff, if one is required, will be on August 27. The election will be on November 5. Jennifer Riley Collins is the only Democrat running

Remember these southern Democrats running for statewide office in 2019:

John Bel Edwards                         Reelection as Governor of Louisiana

Jim Hood                                          Current AG, running for Governor of Mississippi

Jennifer Riley Collins                  Running for Attorney General

Remember this southern Democrat running for statewide office in 2020

Doug Jones                                      Reelection as Senator from Alabama

Remember these southern Democratic Members of Congress running for reelection in 2020. Members of Congress who had very close races in the south in 2018

Joe Cunningham                  Reelection to SC 01
Elaine Luria                           Reelection to VA 02
Lucy McBath                         Reelection to GA 06
Debbie Mucarcel-Powell  Reelection to FL 26