Republican Lynn Fitch has served as Mississippi State Treasurer for nearly eight years. Fitch now believes she is ready to move to another state government office after November’s general election.
Fitch, a native of Holly Springs, this week has announced her candidacy for State Attorney General. A three-day statewide swing ended Wednesday afternoon with a stop at the DeSoto County Administration Building in Hernando.
There may seem no connection between being the overseer of the state finances and leading the legal side of Mississippi government, but Fitch pointed out that her background and work as State Treasurer make her prepared to serve as Attorney General.
“I've been a practicing lawyer for 34 years,” Fitch pointed out. “My career started at the Attorney General's Office. When you take all of the skillsets of running complex offices, being a product lawyer, private practice and being an attorney for the Legislature, that makes a huge difference. You have to run the largest law firm in the state and you need all of those skill sets to do that.”
Fitch touted her successes as State Treasurer, stating she has helped save state taxpayers more than $150 million through managing the state’s debt, returned more than $91 million in unclaimed property to their owners, as well as the college savings programs instituted.
Being tough on crime is one issue Fitch said she wants to support as Attorney General.
“There's so many ways to be very tough and we really have to go after the criminals,” Fitch noted. “But we've got to stop and think about how we do justice reform, how we apply that, how do they reentry into society, so there are so many different levels that I am looking for to leading on.”
Another area is regarding the opioid crisis. DeSoto County has attempted to address the growing problem through town hall meetings and through other means. In 2017, Mississippi ranked fifth in the country in when it came to opioid prescriptions and DeSoto County was among the larger offenders.
Fitch wants to work against opioid abuse in a cooperative effort.
“This will require us to work together,” said Fitch. “We have to hit it on all levels and look at every angle that we can address on how to stop and end this crisis. I've specifically said we should put opioid education into the schools and start having the conversation with these young students. It affects every age. There's no gender, race, economic status, everyone is affected by the opioid crisis.”
January is National Human Trafficking Month and Fitch said she is running for Attorney General to also be able to fight the growing problem in Mississippi.
“It's there, it is alarming and it is all over our state, unlike any other state,” Fitch said. “We have to stop this human trafficking and when we see those victims we have to protect them and support them. We also have to find them safe places and resources because we want to help them get back into society.”
Current Attorney General Jim Hood is running for governor this year. State Rep. Mark Baker, a Republican, is also running for Attorney General. March 1 is the deadline for qualifying for elected office in the August primary and November general election and no Democrat had filed for Attorney General.
Bob Bakken is Staff Writer for DeSoto Times-Tribune.