MSGOP Chair Bordeaux stepping down. Mike Hurst endorsed as successor

By: Taylor Vance and Geoff Pender, Mississippi Today
May 11, 2024

Mississippi Republican Party Chairman Frank Bordeaux announced on Wednesday that he will not seek reelection to his post and endorsed former U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst to succeed him. 

Bordeaux, an insurance executive, wrote on Facebook that he’s had a great tenure as the party’s chairman, but it was time to “pass the torch” to a “new leader with a fresh perspective.” 

“We’ve seen a lot of success,” Bordeaux said. “We’ve elected more Republicans in the last few years to local, state, and federal offices than at any point in history. With every election, we’ve gained seats and put more conservatives in positions to improve the lives of Mississippians.” 

Republican Gov. Tate Reeves in September 2020 backed Bordeaux, a longtime Coast resident, to replace former GOP Chairman Lucien Smith, a move that likely proved crucial to the governor transforming the Coast into a political firewall of support during the 2023 statewide election. 

Reeves in a Wednesday social media post thanked Bordeaux for his service and backed Hurst to become the new leader of the party.

“He has done an outstanding job raising funds for the Party as the Chairman of the United Republican Fund,” Reeves said of Hurst. “And I look forward to working with him to continue to grow the MSGOP and increase our capacity to get conservatives elected to every level of government.”

It’s typical for a sitting Republican governor, as de facto head of the state party, to pick a new chairman. While the executive committee technically elects a GOP chairman, a governor’s choice is typically installed by acclamation. There has been no major executive committee challenge to a Republican governor’s chairman nomination in recent history.

The MSGOP annual convention began Friday, and the change in leadership is expected to be voted into place this weekend. The Friday kickoff of the convention includes an address by national RNC Co-Chair Lara Trump, former President Donald Trump’s daughter-in-law.

Hurst in a Wednesday statement reiterated he has Reeves’ support.

“I want to thank Gov. Tate Reeves for his support, Chairman Frank Bordeaux for his incredible leadership, and the staff of the MSGOP, who have all raised our party to new heights and have achieved so much for our conservative principles over the last number of years,” Hurst said.

Gov. Tate Reeves signs qualifying paperwork to run for reelection, as his wife Elee Reeves, left, and party chairman Frank Bordeaux look on at the Mississippi Republican Headquarters in Jackson, Miss., Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2023.

“Our future is bright in Mississippi and, if elected chairman, I hope I can play a small role in making our state and our party even better in the future,” Hurst added.

Republican Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann in a statement Wednesday said: “Being chairman is a tough, uncompensated job which takes a significant amount of personal time. Frank’s leadership through part of the pandemic and the recent statewide election has been pivotal to bringing organization, unity, and success to the Republican Party across the state. We appreciate his service and look forward to continuing his efforts under the guidance of Mike Hurst.”

Hurst has been involved in state and national Republican politics for years. He is currently a partner in the Phelps Dunbar law firm’s Jackson office. Hurst served as the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Mississippi under President Donald Trump’s administration from 2017 to 2021, and previously served as an assistant U.S. attorney. 

Prior to his presidential appointment, Hurst was the founder and director of the Mississippi Justice Institute, a division of the Mississippi Center for Public Policy. He also previously served as a legislative director and counsel to then-U.S. Rep. Chip Pickering, and served as counsel to the Constitution Subcommittee of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee.

Hurst’s wife, Celeste Hurst, was elected last year to the state House District 77 seat, representing Madison, Rankin and Scott counties.

This article first appeared on Mississippi Today and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.