Letter reviewed by the AP undercuts Mississippi candidate’s accusation against lieutenant governor

Jul 19, 2023, 10:26 AM

State Sen. Chris McDaniel, R-Ellisville, listens as fellow Republicans emphasize the importance of ...

State Sen. Chris McDaniel, R-Ellisville, listens as fellow Republicans emphasize the importance of voting in the party's primary, on Aug. 8, during the Scott County Republican Rally in Forest, Miss., Tuesday, July 18, 2023. McDaniel is trying to unseat Mississippi Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann, and the two men are locked in a contentious primary, with campaigns trading barbs in television ads and at campaign events. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

(AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — In the closing weeks of Mississippi’s statewide primary elections, the Republican lieutenant governor’s race has turned nasty, with an accusation over the incumbent’s history with a women’s health clinic showing how abortion remains a flashpoint even between conservatives.

In campaign ads, speeches, social media posts and interviews, state Sen. Chris McDaniel and campaign surrogates have tied Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann to the South Jackson Woman’s Clinic, claiming he led it at a time it was performing abortions. But the physician who directed the clinic said it didn’t start performing abortions until after Hosemann stopped providing legal services there, according to a letter reviewed by The Associated Press.

Business records maintained by the secretary of state’s office show Hosemann listed as the vice president of the clinic, which was formed in 1976 and closed in 1991. The clinic’s president, Dr. Larry Lipscomb, wrote in a memo dated June 4, 1998, that Hosemann provided periodic legal services for the clinic from 1977 to 1981, before abortions were performed.

“At that time the Clinic provided obstetrician and gynecological services. These services did not include pregnancy terminations as the Clinic did not offer that procedure until several years later,” Lipscomb wrote in the memo. “I am saddened that his name was mistakenly listed on documents filed with the Secretary of State.”

Ending abortion has animated Republican politics for decades, and it’s especially salient in Mississippi, the state that led the charge to overturn Roe v. Wade, rescinding a five-decade-old right to abortion nationwide. Both Hosemann and McDaniel oppose abortion rights. Mississippi law says abortion will be legal only if the pregnant woman’s life is in danger or if a pregnancy is caused by a rape reported to law enforcement. It does not have an exception for pregnancies caused by incest.

McDaniel, a four-term Mississippi legislator, is no stranger to bare-knuckled campaigns. He lost two races for U.S. Senate in the past decade, including a overturn the election results.

Hosemann’s legal work for the medical clinic has been an issue in a previous campaign. It came up during the Republican primary in his unsuccessful run for a U.S. House seat in 1998, coinciding with Lipscomb’s memo. A 1998 AP article says Hosemann was removed from the clinic’s documents filed with the secretary of state’s office in 1989.

Hosemann, who is seeking a second term as the state’s second-highest-ranking official, has said he was listed in the documents as a formality and never worked for the clinic in a leading role while it was performing abortions. He has been endorsed by the anti-abortion group Mississippi Right to Life.

In an interview after a campaign event Tuesday evening, McDaniel suggested Lipscomb was being dishonest. He said he wouldn’t trust the word of a man who performed abortions.

Lipscomb could not immediately be reached for comment Wednesday.

Referencing the latest campaign ad, Hosemann said in a statement late Tuesday that McDaniel was a “pathological liar” who was trying to defame him and his Catholic faith.

The lieutenant governor presides over the 52-member Mississippi Senate, appoints senators to committees and names the committee leaders. Tiffany Longino, an educator, is also running in the Republican primary for lieutenant governor.

The Republican nominee will face Democrat D. Ryan Grover, a business consultant.

Party primaries are Aug. 8, with runoffs Aug. 29. The general election on Nov. 7, with runoffs Nov. 28.


Michael Goldberg is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues. Follow him on Twitter at

National News

FILE - Students in the new Army prep course stand at attention after physical training exercises at...

Associated Press

The Army is launching a sweeping overhaul of its recruiting to reverse enlistment shortfalls

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Army is launching a sweeping overhaul of its recruiting to focus more on young people who have spent time in college or are job hunting early in their careers, as it scrambles to reverse years of enlistment shortfalls. A major part of this is the formation of a new professional force […]

1 hour ago

Giant panda Xiao Qi Ji eats bamboo in his enclosure at the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington, ...

Associated Press

Panda Diplomacy: The departure of DC’s beloved pandas may signal a wider Chinese pullback

WASHINGTON (AP) — Wearing a “I Love Pandas” t-shirt and clutching a panda-covered diary, Kelsey Lambert bubbled with excitement as she glimpsed the real thing. She and her mother, Alison, had made a special trip from San Antonio, Texas, just to watch the National Zoo’s furry rock stars casually munching bamboo and rolling around on […]

7 hours ago

FILE - Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during a Republican presidential primary debate hosted by F...

Associated Press

DeSantis said he would support a 15-week abortion ban, after avoiding a direct answer for months

When Ron DeSantis seemed to say during last week’s Republican presidential debate that he would support a federal ban on abortion at 15 weeks of pregnancy, some anti-abortion activists called it the news they had been waiting months to hear. The president of Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, a leading anti-abortion advocacy group, issued a […]

7 hours ago

FILE - This booking photo provided by the Florida Department of Corrections shows Michael Duane Zac...

Associated Press

Florida man who murdered women he met in bars set to die by lethal injection

STARKE, Fla. (AP) — A man is scheduled to die by lethal injection over 25 years after he killed women het met in north Florida bars during a dayslong spate of crimes. Michael Zack III is set to die at 6 p.m. Tuesday for the murder of Ravonne Smith, a bar employee he befriended and […]

7 hours ago

FILE - President Joe Biden's son Hunter Biden leaves after a court appearance, July 26, 2023, in Wi...

Associated Press

Hunter Biden returns to court in Delaware and is expected to plead not guilty to gun charges

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — Hunter Biden is due back in a Delaware courtroom Tuesday, where he’s expected to plead not guilty to federal firearms charges that emerged after his earlier deal collapsed. The president’s son is facing charges that he lied about his drug use in October 2018 on a form to buy a gun […]

7 hours ago

FILE - The interior of the execution chamber in the U.S. Penitentiary in Terre Haute, Ind., is seen...

Associated Press

Fuller picture emerges of the 13 federal executions at the end of Trump’s presidency

CHICAGO (AP) — A day before the federal government executed a Texas man for the killing of an Iowa couple when he was 18, celebrity lawyer Alan Dershowitz pleaded with then-President Donald Trump — a former client — to call the execution off. During a Dec. 9, 2020, call to the White House, Dershowitz told […]

7 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Swedish Cyberknife...

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

September is a busy month on the sports calendar and also holds a very special designation: Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

Ziply Fiber...

Dan Miller

The truth about Gigs, Gs and other internet marketing jargon

If you’re confused by internet technologies and marketing jargon, you’re not alone. Here's how you can make an informed decision.

Education families...

Education that meets the needs of students, families

Washington Virtual Academies (WAVA) is a program of Omak School District that is a full-time online public school for students in grades K-12.

Emergency preparedness...

Emergency planning for the worst-case scenario

What would you do if you woke up in the middle of the night and heard an intruder in your kitchen? West Coast Armory North can help.

Innovative Education...

The Power of an Innovative Education

Parents and students in Washington state have the power to reimagine the K-12 educational experience through Insight School of Washington.

Medicare fraud...

If you’re on Medicare, you can help stop fraud!

Fraud costs Medicare an estimated $60 billion each year and ultimately raises the cost of health care for everyone.

Letter reviewed by the AP undercuts Mississippi candidate’s accusation against lieutenant governor