With just three weeks to go before the political identity of the state legislature is decided, ten candidates for state representative touted as conservative republicans are getting a big push the Mississippi Tea Party in hopes of getting more conservatives in house seats.
"The state has gone very conservative and it was time for that to be shown in the house of Mississippi," said Tea Party Chairman Roy Nicholson
Top elected republicans are throwing their support behind the candidates as well like Lieutenant Governor Phil Bryant and State Auditor Stacey Pickering.
"Mississippi's best and brightest days are ahead of us with conservative leadership," said Pickering.
"People of Mississippi are basically conservative," said Nicholson.
Nicholson says the support targets ten house districts currently held by democrats stretching all the way from counties like Benton, down to Hancock in districts 3, 4, 19, 20, 21, 45, 79, 105, 111 and 122.
"Their objective is total republican control of Mississippi government," said Democratic Party Executive Director Rickey Cole.
Cole says the push from the Tea Party is just another strike in the battle for house speaker.
"I think that the tea party is a tool or a wing or maybe the dominate fraction in the Republican Party these days," said Cole.
With current house speaker, democrat Billy McCoy not seeking re-election, the house speakership will be determined by the 122 members who must first win their districts. For those targeted incumbent democrats, Cole says they're running strong campaigns.
"They know their people, they know their districts, they vote the interest of their districts and I think on November the eighth our candidates will do just fine," said Cole.
For the conservatives running against them, it's the same outlook but only one side will prevail and it's in the hands of voters.
"I think you're going to see a tremendous voter turnout, a tremendous conservative majority and a big upset in the house of representatives," said Nicholson.
Copyright 2011 WLBT. All rights reserved.