JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Attorney General Jim Hood has no regrets as his term come to an end.
12’s Gerald Harris spoke with Hood in a 12 News exclusive.
“My whole career as DA, Assistant DA, as Attorney General has been fighting for the least among us, fighting for those who can’t fight from themselves,” said Hood.
The four-term Democratic AG ran unsuccessfully against Governor-elect Tate Reeves in the 2019 governor’s race.
Hood believes the deciding factor was President Trump and that the visit cost him the election.
“I think when the president came in and started talking about impeachment, it wasn’t what he was saying before. It was just tying that to impeachment people were upset still are — you know on both sides, whether or not you believe it should happen or it shouldn’t. People were emotional about that, and I think that people voted along partisan lines,” he explained.
In the past, Hood had the support of his home region of the Golden Triangle. In the recent election, he did not get a strong bipartisan showing.
“At some point people will begin to vote their pocketbook rather than these other emotional issues, like race and abortion and those kinds of things working people.”
As part of his successes, Hood touts the more than 3 billion dollars he brought to Mississippi as attorney general. It includes money from the BP oil spill settlement and funds going after insurance companies after Hurricane Katrina.
“Katrina was a — we still feel the impacts of that. There are still people down there that are still affected, lost loved one and those kinds of things,” said Hood. “That was a battle that lasted a couple of years. And then wasn’t far right after that, you know, we got hit with BP, and it just devastated the economy down there. And we’ve got an event downtown there that’s just really worse than BP and that’s this freshwater.”
The Mississippi Burning Case, where KKK members torched beat parishioners, was reopened and tried by Hood. He thought his career could have been over after that case.
“To hold somebody accountable that took advantage and killed people that were trying to help others was rewarding, but probably one of the most rewarding things was African Americans come up and shake my hand and they’ll say nothing really. Some of the time, they’ll just say thank you, and you know that’s what they remember, that and they know somebody fought for those people who need help.”
Hood also discussed his work in mental health and cracking down on child pornography.
As far as his political future, Hood said he’s going home, but not going away.
“I think I’ve done my duty. You never say never. I’ve always heard that in politics, but I’ve got 29 or 30 years in the retirement system. And I think I’m going to practice law in Houston, Mississippi, in my dad’s old office. He passed away a couple of years ago, and his office is sitting there. So, I’ll open up shop up there, and I’ll still continue to stay in the fight.”