In the last weeks before Mississippi’s Aug. 8 Republican primary, an independent expenditure group, Invest in Mississippi, dropped an ad reminding Republicans that Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann was listed as the vice president of the South Jackson Woman’s Clinic, which performed abortions.
Hosemann’s challenger is conservative state Sen. Chris McDaniel (R.-42), and the state’s Republican establishment is rallying behind Hosemann. Republican Gov. Tate Reeves is heavily favored for his second term, but then he is termed out.
This battle for lieutenant governor is the prequel for the 2027 governor’s race, which is why Sen. Ted Cruz (R.-Texas) endorsed the conservative McDaniel. Still, the state’s two national senators, both allies of Minority Leader A. Mitchell “Mitch” McConnell (R.-Ky.), Cindy Hyde-Smith and Roger Wicker, endorsed Hosemann.
Both Hosemann and McDaniel publicly oppose abortion.
In addition to setting up to succeed Reeves, the state’s lieutenant governor exerts tremendous political power compared to the position in other states. The position’s most significant power is the authority to make committee assignments in the state Senate and designate committee chairmen.
The abortion ad targeting Hosemann finishes with clips from Hosemann’s own commercials, including one from a character named Dorothy, an elderly woman who appeared in Hosemann’s commercials when he ran for secretary of state.
Narrator: June 30, 1976, the day Delbert Hosemann admitted he wasn’t actually pro-life, he signed on as vice-president of South Jackson Women’s Clinic. When Delbert Hosemann was an executive of the abortion clinic in Jackson, Mississippi, over 18 million children were denied their first breath. Only one Republican lieutenant governor is OK with that. Which one?
Clips: It’s Delbert Hosemann. It’s Delbert. It’s Delbert.
Dorothy: Oh, Delbert, why didn’t you say something?
It is interesting that Hosemann was secretary of state because he claimed that the clinic listing him as the vice president was a paperwork error. Still, that paperwork would have been filed with the secretary of state.
The Associated Press ran a July 19 article about the ad: “Letter reviewed by the AP undercuts Mississippi candidate’s accusation against lieutenant governor.”
The reporter, Michael Goldberg, described a June 4, 1998, letter written by the clinic’s president Dr. Larry Lipscomb, which the AP saw, but no one from the AP spoke to Lipscomb.
RedState obtained a copy of the June 24, 2023, letter attorney Anne Goodwin Crump sent to the Mississippi Association of Broadcasters in response to a complaint from the Hosemann campaign that the ad was false and defamatory.
This is the salient excerpt:
In attempting to discredit that information, the latest email points to what purports to be a 1998 letter from Dr. Larry R. Lipscomb, which is described as showing that abortions were not performed when Mr. Hosemann was involved with the Clinic. There are a couple of problems with reliance upon this document, however. First, the typewritten letter is not signed by Dr. Lipscomb but merely is printed on what appears to be his letterhead, and its origin, therefore, is not certain. Second, it contains a slight error in the name of the Clinic (Women’s Clinic instead of Woman’s Clinic), which is minor but odd from one of the two founders of the Clinic. Finally, the document is extremely vague about when the Clinic started performing abortions, stating only that it was “several” years after 1981. Mr. Hosemann’s name was not removed as Vice-President and Director until the 1989 annual report, however. Thus, the time when abortions were performed at the Clinic easily could have overlapped with the time when Mr. Hosemann was listed as Vice-President. All of these issues make Dr. Lipscomb’s letter less than reliable.
Weighing against Mr. Hosemann’s claims of inaccuracy are the official records of the Mississippi Secretary of State. While the Lipscomb letter makes another vague reference to mistaken filings, it seems unlikely that one of only two officers would continue to be incorrectly listed for eight consecutive years. I, therefore, conclude that there is no reliable evidence that Invest in Mississippi PAC’s claims in this regard are false.
RedState reached out to AP reporter Michael Goldberg, at the email provided by the Associated Press for inquiries to him, and asked him to produce the Lipscomb letter, explain how he knew Lipscomb wrote the letter, and provide his explanation for Lipscomb using the clinic’s wrong name.
As of publication, there was no reply more than 10 hours after the email was sent.