Bill Marcy

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 10, 2012

‘Long-shot’ GOP candidate will speak Thursday 

By Billy Davis

Bill Marcy, the Republican candidate running for Congress, is coming to Batesville this week with an under-funded campaign and a David-versus-Goliath challenge.

Marcy is set to speak Thursday night at 7 p.m. at the Batesville Public Library at the invitation of the Panola County Tea Party.

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Also set to speak is Jeppie Barbour, older brother of the former Mississippi governor, who will speak about the upcoming November election.

Web site, which tracks campaign contributions, shows Marcy had spent $5,247 and had $5,853 on hand by June 30 in his long-shot bid to unseat Democrat Bennie Thompson in November.
Thompson had spent $1.2 million so far in the same campaign and had another $1.2 million on hand according to the Web site.

Cobby Williams, an Independent candidate seeking the congressional seat, has raised $7,100 for his campaign according to the same Web site.

Asked about the campaign figures, Marcy said more up-to-date figures are being tabulated after the end of June. He estimated contributors have handed him as much as $4,000 in recent weeks.

Thompson advanced to the General Election after fending off a primary challenge from Heather McTeer, the former Greenville mayor who also considered herself an underdog.  

McTeer raised approximately $348,474 in her bid for the Democratic nomination. She was defeated 49,083-7,040 by the incumbent congressman in March.
Marcy is making his second bid for the 2nd District seat after Thompson handily won 69 percent of the vote in 2010.

Marcy didn’t disagree when a reporter referred to him as a “long-shot” to beat Thompson, though he said there is an undercurrent of unhappiness among the black community toward Thompson, who has been in office in Washington, D.C. since 1993.

Both Marcy and Thompson are black, and the 2nd District was redrawn last year by federal judges to ensure Mississippi maintains a majority-black district among its four congressional districts.

The 2nd district lost approximately 30,000 people since 2000 so three eastern counties that included Panola were moved into the district to balance its population with voters in the 1st, 3rd and 4th congressional districts. Grenada and Yalobusha counties are also in the 2nd District.

“The people are looking around and asking what Bennie Thompson has done, and he’s done nothing for them after they’ve given him 20 years in Congress,” Marcy said. “That’s not what I’m saying. That’s what they’re telling me.”

“There is something the Delta needs, which is jobs,” he added. “It needs an economic recovery.”

Marcy also claimed that black ministers and their churches, which are a traditional supporter of the Democratic Party, are unhappy that Thompson, a liberal Democrat, supposedly supports homosexual marriage.

Marcy opposes it but it’s unclear if Thompson holds that same view. His view on homosexual marriage is not mentioned on his congressional Web site nor his campaign Web site.

A spokesman for Thompson did not respond to an e-mail by press time Monday.  

“They’re preaching against it from the pulpit,” said Marcy. “They’re not hiding that they oppose the President and oppose Bennie Thompson.”

So far Marcy’s campaign does not include a campaign contribution from the Mississippi Republican Party, which can contribute as much as $5,000 in his bid to win the congressional seat.

“In a way that works to my benefit, because I consider myself an ‘independent Republican.’ I don’t answer to the party,” said Marcy.

“My biggest obstacle is not money,” said Marcy. “The biggest obstacle is getting people to believe. If we win, we’re going to win with the people.”