- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 1, 2018

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - The Latest on the 2019 Mississippi attorney general’s race (all times local):

3:53 p.m.

Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood says he still has not decided whether he will seek re-election or run for governor in 2019.

He tells The Associated Press that he hopes whoever runs for attorney general will respect the office and the people who work there.

Hood spoke Tuesday after Republican state Rep. Mark Baker announced as a candidate for attorney general in the coming year. Baker says he wants to change the way the office is run. He has long criticized Hood for hiring private attorneys to file lawsuits on behalf of the state.



Hood is in his fourth term as attorney general and is the only Democrat holding statewide office in Mississippi. He says people across party lines are urging him to run for governor. Hood says his wife, Debbie, has to be comfortable with a decision before he will announce his political plans.

____

11:14 a.m.

A Republican state lawmaker says he is running for Mississippi attorney general next year.

Rep. Mark Baker of Brandon announced his plans Tuesday, becoming the first candidate in what could be an open race for attorney general. The four-term incumbent, Democrat Jim Hood, is widely expected to run for governor in 2019.

Hood is the only Democrat in statewide office.

Baker tells The Associated Press that the attorney general’s office “needs to be reformed from the inside out.” He criticizes Hood for not joining other states years ago in suing to block the federal health overhaul of 2010.

Baker has been in the Mississippi House since 2004. The 55-year-old is in private law practice and is chairman of the Judiciary A Committee - a key leadership position in the House.

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