- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Democratic Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood is being criticized after he reportedly used a state investigation as attack fodder against his Republican gubernatorial opponent in November.

Mr. Hood — who is facing off against Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves to replace term-limited Gov. Phil Bryant — released a report this month saying a year-long investigation found Mr. Reeves violated a provision in the state constitution by playing an active role in the construction of a state-sponsored frontage road which connected Mr. Reeve’s neighborhood to a shopping center in Jackson.

Mr. Reeves was in the state legislature at the time of the road’s construction.

Mr. Reeves’ campaign, government watchdog groups and even members of Mr. Hood’s own party have accused the attorney general of his own conflict of interest in not recusing himself from the investigation.

Parker Briden, a Reeve’s campaign spokesman, said to The Hill: “I’d draw a chart to map out the conflict of interest, but it would just be a straight line.”

While Mr. Hood said he would leave the report for the next attorney general to handle, his campaign took less than two days to use Mr. Hood’s own investigation as an attack on Mr. Reeves.

Critics have also pointed out that Mr. Hood has done many interviews, as recent as two weeks ago, touting his involvement in the report and how it could affect the election.

“I’ve worked on Sundays and weekends trying to get that work done as quickly as possible. The voters should know what happened, and only the attorney general is in a position to do that,” Mr. Hood said in July to WJTV.

The investigation started in July 2018 before either candidate had declared their candidacy but both were widely expected to run. Mr. Hood ensured there would be no conflict of interest.

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